Does mammography have high sensitivity in detecting recurrent breast cancer after breast conservation?
The sensitivity of mammography in detecting recurrent tumor is limited by the post-therapy changes present on the mammogram: edema, distortion, and trabecular thickening. Overall, studies suggest that mammography does not detect tumor recurrence about one third of the time. Recurrence presenting as calcifications is easier to detect than that presenting as a mass after breast conservation therapy. Physical examination also plays an important complementary role in evaluating patients after breast conservation. There is new literature suggesting that breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may detect additional cancers.