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Screening mammography for young women treated with supradiaphragmatic radiation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma


Background — Female survivors of Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) treated with supradiaphragmatic radiation therapy (SRT) are at increased risk of breast cancer (BC), but there is little data on the optimal screening strategy.

Patient and Methods — We report a prospective surveillance study of women treated for HL with SRT before age 30 participating in a high-risk screening clinic. Starting 8 years after treatment, women received annual mammography and clinical follow-up from 1997 to 2006. Method of detection and characteristics of BCs were identified.

Results — In all, 115 female HL survivors attended at least one clinic; 100 participated in annual surveillance. The majority had mammography alone; adjunctive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used more frequently in women with high breast density (P = 0.025). Median age at first mammogram was 36 years and decreased with more recent year of diagnosis. Twelve of the 100 participating women (12%) were diagnosed with BC after a median of 5 years of surveillance (range, 1–9). Seven BCs presented as palpable masses [six invasive, one ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)], five were detected by mammography (one invasive, four DCIS).

Conclusions — Despite earlier initiation of mammographic screening, most BCs were detected clinically and had unfavorable pathologic characteristics. Evaluation of more intensive screening and the contribution of MRI for earlier detection is warranted.



Lee L, Pintilie M, Hodgson DC, Goss PE, Crump M. Ann Oncol. 2008; 19(1):62-7. Epub 2007 Sep 17.

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Contributing ICES Scientists