Recurrent breast cancer

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 25 Feb 2018

The term recurrent breast cancer in medical imaging is given to recurrence of malignancy within the same breast at or close to the resection bed more than two years following surgical excision.

The rate of local recurrence may be as high as 19% in 10 years. The maximum for recurrence occurs ~4-6 years post treatment. 

Recognized risk factors include:

On mammography, the appearance of recurrent breast cancers are generally thought to be mammographically similar to the original breast tumor 2.

MRI offers an advantage over conventional methods in assessing recurrence.  This can be seen in evaluating of tumor recurrence versus scarring where enhancement in the post-surgical scar should decrease substantially over the first 2 years. The presence of enhancement at the lumpectomy site after ~18 months since surgery is considered a concerning feature for recurrent breast cancer.

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