News | June 30, 2011

Study Finds Mammography Screening Reduces Breast Cancer Mortality

June 30, 2011 – Breast cancer screening with mammography results in a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality, according to long-term follow-up results of a large-scale Swedish trial. The results are published online in the journal <i>Radiology.</i>

“Mammographic screening confers a substantial relative and absolute reduction in breast cancer mortality risk in the long-term,” said Stephen W. Duffy, M.Sc., professor of cancer screening at Queen Mary, University of London. “For every 1,000 to 1,500 mammograms, one breast cancer death is prevented.”

The Swedish two-county trial of mammographic screening was the first breast cancer screening trial to show a reduction in breast cancer mortality from screening with mammography alone. The trial randomized 133,065 women into two groups, one that received an invitation to screening and another that received usual care. At the conclusion of the study, there were 30 percent fewer breast cancer deaths among all women (attenders and non-attenders) in the group invited to undergo screening. The screening phase of the trial lasted approximately seven years. Women between the ages of 40 and 49 were screened, on average, every 24 months, and women age 50 to 74 were screened, on average, every 33 months.

For the current study, nearly three decades after the beginning of the trial, the researchers analyzed the original data and the follow-up data to estimate the long-term effect of mammography screening on breast cancer mortality. At 29 years, this represents the longest recorded follow-up period for a mammography screening trial.

Case status and cause of death were determined by local trial endpoint committees and, independently, by an external committee. Mortality analysis at follow-up showed a reduction in the breast cancer mortality rate in the screening population, similar to the original trial results. But while the relative effect of screening on breast cancer mortality remained stable over the follow-up period, the absolute benefit in terms of lives saved increased with longer follow-up times. At 29 years of follow-up, the estimated number of women needed to undergo screening every 2 or 3 years over a seven-year period to prevent one breast cancer death ranged from 414 to 519.

According to the researchers, evaluation of the full impact of screening mammography requires follow-up times exceeding 15 to 20 years, because the observed number of breast cancer deaths prevented increases with the passage of time.

“Most of the deaths prevented would have occurred more than 10 years after the screening started,” Duffy said. “This indicates that the long-term benefits of screening in terms of deaths prevented are more than double those often quoted for short-term follow-up.”

These new data add to the evidence on the long-term benefits of regular mammography screening, and should be included in the discussions between women and doctors about what to expect from breast cancer screening.

“Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain who will and who will not develop breast cancer,” Duffy said. “But if you undergo a recommended screening regimen, and you are diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage, chances are very good that it will be successfully treated.”

For more information: http://radiology.rsna.org/

Related Content

Image courtesy of Philips Healthcare

News | Clinical Trials | July 19, 2018
The use of computed tomography (CT) scans has increased dramatically over the last two decades. CT scans greatly...
Fujifilm to Host Pediatric Imaging Best Practices Symposium at AHRA 2018
News | Pediatric Imaging | July 18, 2018
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. announced that it will offer educational opportunities and exhibit its latest...
CT Decision Instrument Reliably Guides Pediatric Blunt Trauma imaging Decisions

This is a four-site prospective observational cohort. Image courtesy of Kirsty Challen, B.Sc., MBCHB, MRES, Ph.D., Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, United Kingdom.

News | Clinical Decision Support | July 18, 2018
A new study finds The Pediatric NEXUS Head Computed Tomography (CT) Decision Instrument (DI) reliably identifies blunt...
Study Points to Need for Performance Standards for EHR Usability and Safety
News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | July 18, 2018
A novel new study provides compelling evidence that the design, development and implementation of electronic health...
Artificial Intelligence Provides Faster, Clearer MRI Scans

A new artificial-intelligence-based approach to image reconstruction, called AUTOMAP, yields higher quality images from less data, reducing radiation doses for CT and PET and shortening scan times for MRI. Shown here are MR images reconstructed from the same data with conventional approaches, at left, and AUTOMAP, at right. Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

News | Artificial Intelligence | July 17, 2018
A research team with funding from the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has...
Study Shows Biomarker Panel Boosts Lung Cancer Risk Assessment for Smokers
News | Lung Cancer | July 16, 2018
A four-protein biomarker blood test improves lung cancer risk assessment over existing guidelines that rely solely upon...
Breast Cancer Follow-up Imaging Varies Widely
News | Breast Imaging | July 13, 2018
July 13, 2018 — Follow-up imaging for women...
Lack of Insurance Coverage Delaying Proton Therapy Clinical Trials
News | Proton Therapy | July 12, 2018
Randomized clinical trials are the gold standard of cancer research and can shed light on whether innovative, new...
Invision Diagnostics Installs VolparaEnterprise Software to Enhance Mammography Image Quality
News | Mammography | July 11, 2018
Invision Diagnostics, a provider of mobile mammography services across North and South Carolina, announced that it is...
Breast Cancer Studies Ignore Race, Socioeconomic Factors
News | Women's Health | July 11, 2018
A new commentary appearing in the July issue of Cancer Causes & Control points to evidence that social factors help...
Overlay Init