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Survivorship Care: Breast Cancer Survivors

Key findings

Among breast cancer patients who became survivors from 2012 to 2016, over 80% consistently received at least 1 mammogram in their first follow-up year. There has been a slight decline, from 84.7% in 2012 to 82.5% in 2016. Mammography rates also declined for all cancer survivors over time. For example, for breast cancer patients who became survivors in 2012, the percentage who received an annual mammogram decreased from 84.7% in their first year of follow-up to 74.7% in their fifth year of follow-up.

Why is this important to Ontarians?

  • As many cancer treatments improve and survival rates increase, the number of people living beyond their cancer treatment will continue to grow.
  • Following treatment, some patients experience late and long-term effects of treatment, cancer recurrence or new cancers.
  • Women who have had breast cancer are at increased risk of a second breast cancer, therefore ongoing surveillance is important.
  • These concerns need to be addressed and appropriate care provided for all cancer survivors.

See Survivorship Care: Breast Cancer Survivors Methodology for technical information.

Report date: April 2019
Data source: Ontario Cancer Registry, Cancer Activity Level Reporting, Discharge Abstract Database, National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, Ontario Health Insurance Plan
Prepared by: Analytics and Informatics, Cancer Care Ontario

Figure 1: Percentage of breast cancer survivors with at least 1 mammogram test in each of their first to fifth follow-up years among those who became survivors in 2012 to 2016
Breast cancer survivor cohort, by year First Follow-up Year Second Follow-up Year Third Follow-up Year Fourth Follow-up Year Fifth Follow-up Year
2012 84.7 84.1 80.7 78.3 74.7
2013 84.1 81.9 79.7 77.4 -
2014 83.4 82.5 79 - -
2015 83.5 81.2 - - -
2016 82.5 - - - -

Results

  • Among breast cancer patients who became survivors from 2012 to 2016, over 80% consistently received at least 1 mammogram in their first follow-up year.
  • However, the proportion of breast cancer survivors having at least 1 mammogram in their first follow-up year is declining, from 84.7% among the 2012 survivor cohort to 82.5% among the 2016 survivor cohort.
  • Also, mammography rates decline for all cancer survivors over time. For example, for breast cancer patients who became survivors in 2012, the percentage who received an annual mammogram decreased from 84.7% in their first year of follow-up to 74.7% in their fifth year of follow-up.

Opportunities

  • Work is under way to develop more robust indicators to ensure that breast cancer survivors are receiving guideline-recommended follow-up care according to Cancer Care Ontario’s Position Statement on Guidelines for Breast Well Follow-Up Care.
  • To support optimal follow-up care for patients with breast cancer, Cancer Care Ontario has endorsed the consensus document developed by Health Canada’s Steering Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Care and Treatment of Breast Cancer.

For more information