Monday, 26 November 2012

Costs of different follow-up strategies in early breast cancer

Costs of different follow-up strategies in early breast cancer: A review of the literature. The breast, Dec. 2012, Vol. 21(6), p.693-700.

Van Hezewijk, M., et al.

We reviewed the literature between January 1985 and June 2011 on the costs of different follow-up strategies for patients treated for early breast cancer. A total of 186 abstracts were retrieved of which eleven publications were considered relevant; 6 randomised clinical trials, 4 retrospective cohort studies and 1 ‘minisymposium’.  The follow-up strategies, outcome measures and methods of analysis used in these studies vary widely, so no general conclusions can be drawn. However, from the results we infer that patient-led follow-up by a nurse practitioner, follow-up by a general practitioner, or telephone follow-up is feasible and cost-effective, without routine additional tests, except annual mammograms.