A trial looking at follow up mammograms for women over 50 who have had breast cancer (Mammo-50)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer




Phase 3

This trial is looking at follow up mammograms for women aged 50 years and over who have had breast cancer.

After you finish treatment for breast cancer, you have regular outpatient appointments to check how you are. You also have mammograms to check that your cancer hasn’t come back.

Guidelines recommend that women under 50 have mammograms every year after treatment for breast cancer. But doctors aren’t sure how often women over 50 should have them, or how long for. So practice in hospitals across the UK can vary for women in this age group.

Yearly mammograms can be costly for the health service as well as causing anxiety in some women. Some research suggests that women over 50 may be able to have fewer mammograms if they are followed up and supported in other ways.

The aims of this trial are to

  • Find out if having mammograms less frequently will be as good as yearly mammograms in women over 50
  • See if having fewer mammograms causes more (or less) anxiety for women
  • Learn more about other follow up methods (such as clinic appointments with a doctor or nurse, or telephone follow ups) to see how these affect a woman's quality of life

Who can enter

You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You

  • Are female and you were aged 50 years or older at diagnosis
  • Had surgery to remove breast cancer at least 3 years ago
  • Have had a recent mammogram which shows no sign of the cancer coming back

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You

  • Have breast cancer that has come back or spread elsewhere in your body
  • Have had primary breast cancer more than once, or you have had any other cancer in the last 10 years apart from carcinoma in situ of the cervix or non melanoma skin cancer that was successfully treated

Trial design

This is a phase 3 trial. The researchers need 5,000 women to join.

At the beginning of the trial the team will ask everybody to fill out a questionnaire. This asks you about your general health following your cancer treatment.

It is a randomised trial. The women taking part are put into 2 different groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

Women in the one group have a mammogram once a year for 6 years. This is the control group Open a glossary item.

Women in the other group have fewer mammograms. If you had surgery to remove your whole breast (mastectomy) you have a mammogram every 3 years for the next 6 years.

If you had surgery to remove just the area of cancer (such as a wide local excision or lumpectomy) you have mammograms every 2 years for the next 6 years.

11916 Trial Diagram

You also have the choice to take part in 3 different sub studies. If you don’t want to take part in these, you can still take part in the main trial. The sub studies are

Quality of life sub study
If you join this study, the researchers will ask you to fill out a questionnaire asking about long term side effects of treatment and how you feel about this.

Interview (qualitative research) sub study
If you join this study, you are asked to take part in an interview either on your own or as part of a group.  A researcher will ask about your experiences, how you feel about your follow up appointments and how this service could be improved.

Tissue sub study
If you agree to take part in this study, the researchers will ask for a sample of your cancer that was removed when you had surgery. The researchers will test your cancer for certain characteristics and this sample may be used for future research.

Once you finish having mammograms as part of this trial, you should have mammograms as part of the NHS breast screening programme.

The trial team will continue to collect information about your health for several years. They will do this through agencies such as the Office of National Statistics and Public Health.

Hospital visits

You go to hospital for your mammograms and for your interview (if you take part in the sub study). Depending on the practice of your local hospital and depending which group you are in, your appointments may be less, or more frequent than you would have had if you were not part of this trial.

You fill in the questionnaires during your hospital appointments. These take about 15 minutes.

Side effects

If you are in the group having yearly mammograms, you may have more mammograms than you would normally have had at your hospital. Each mammogram exposes you to a small amount of radiation. The extra exposure of more frequent mammograms is thought to be low.

Having a mammogram can be uncomfortable and can be painful for some women. This only usually lasts for a few minutes while you have the mammogram.

Having fewer, or more frequent mammograms could cause you anxiety.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Chief Investigator

Professor Janet Dunn

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
University of Warwick

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Caroline took part in a clinical trial for breast cancer

“I had treatment last year and I want to give something back.”

Last reviewed:

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