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Table 1 Summary of follow-up issues and evidence

From: Extended follow-up of breast cancer patients in clinic wastes time for both patients and doctors: the case against

Follow-up issues Summary of evidence
Survival advantage None reported but literature relatively underpowered
Doing no follow-up Never been tested in a randomized trial
ASCO guidance [3] Recommendations have not been tested in randomized controlled trials
NICE guidance [4] No evidence provided for the recommended limit of follow-up to 2 to 3 years
  Local recurrence risk maintained for much longer than recommended follow-up period
Primary care follow-up Seems acceptable and good, but small trial (<300 patients) [7, 8]
  General practitioners needed training, and consultations take more time!
Telephone contact Some evidence from an unpublished small regional UK trial [15]
Nurses Acceptable to patients – not necessarily much cheaper
Nonpatient benefits Audit, research, measuring quality of service, identification of unexpected toxicities of new drugs
  1. ASCO, American Society of Clinical Oncology; NICE, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.