Staging in patients with locoregionally recurrent breast cancer: current practice and prospects for positron emission tomography.
Oost, F.J. van
Hoeven, J.J.M. van der
Poll-Franse, LV van de
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The aim of this study was to describe the extent and yield of daily clinical practice when staging patients with a locoregional recurrence (LRR) of breast carcinoma and to explore the prospects for positron emission tomography (PET). The population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry was used to select all breast cancer patients in the southeast of the Netherlands with a first episode of LRR between January 1, 1994 and June 30, 2000 (n = 175). Additional data concerning staging procedures and follow-up were collected from the medical records. Furthermore, we asked 77 physicians (response: 75%) about their opinions on staging procedures and actual treatment policy. At LRR presentation, 16% of patients were found to have distant metastases. An additional 24% were diagnosed with distant metastases within 18 months. The questionnaire revealed that 33% of clinicians thought that the sensitivity of conventional imaging techniques was too low. We tend to conclude that in daily clinical practice there is a need for more sensitive dissemination tests for patients with a LRR of breast cancer.