"In our study, women aged 40 to 49 whose breast cancer was detected by mammography were easier to treat and had less recurring disease and mortality, because their cancer was found at an earlier stage," said Judith A. Malmgren, Ph.D., president of HealthStat Consulting, Inc.
Dr. Malmgren and a team of researchers reviewed breast cancer patient data from a dedicated registry at the Swedish Cancer Institute's community cancer center. The researchers analyzed data on 1,977 breast cancer patients between the ages of 40 and 49 who were treated between 1990 and 2008. The researchers looked at method of diagnosis (detected by mammography, patient or physician), stage at diagnosis (0-IV, confirmed by biopsy), treatment, and annual follow-up information, including recurrence of disease.
"Our goal was to assess the differences between mammography and non-mammography detected breast cancer, to determine whether earlier detection confers a treatment and morbidity advantage because the disease is found at an earlier stage," Dr. Malmgren said.
The data analysis revealed a significant increase in the percentage of mammography-detected breast cancer over the 18-year period: from 28 percent in 1990 to 58 percent in 2008. Over the same period, patient- and physician-detected breast cancer declined from 73 percent of all cases in 1990 to 42 percent in 2008.
"The shift toward more mammography-detected breast cancer cases was accompanied by a shift toward diagnosis at an earlier stage of disease that required less treatment," Dr. Malmgren said.
Over the 18-year period, the number of breast cancers diagnosed at Stage 0 increased by 66 percent, while the number of Stage III breast cancers decreased by 66 percent. The majority of Stage 0 cancer cases were ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive cancer that is confined to a milk duct. The treatment of DCIS remains controversial, because not all experts agree that it is potentially life threatening.
Dr. Malmgren said another key finding of the study was the extent of treatment patients received. Compared with women whose cancer was self-detected or discovered by a physician, patients whose cancer was detected using mammography were more likely to have breast-conserving treatment and less likely to have chemotherapy. Specifically, they were more likely to undergo lumpectomy (67 percent versus 48 percent), less likely to undergo modified radical mastectomy (25 percent versus 47 percent), and less likely to die of breast cancer (4 percent versus 11 percent).
"The benefits of breast cancer treatment are accompanied by significant harms," Dr. Malmgren said. "Chemotherapy may have long-lasting toxic effects on a woman's body, and mastectomy and reconstructive surgery are difficult and expensive operations that can have a significant effect on body image."
The American Cancer Society and other medical organizations recommend that women should begin receiving annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer beginning at age 40. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued controversial new guidelines that eliminated the longstanding recommendation for routine mammography screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49, stating that the benefits of screening were potentially outweighed by the harms of screening, such as false-positive results.
"The objective of screening is to detect disease at an earlier, more treatable stage, which—based on our review—mammography accomplishes," Dr. Malmgren said.
"Impact of Mammography Detection on the Course of Breast Cancer in Women Aged 40 Years." Collaborating with Dr. Malmgren were Jay Parikh, M.D., Mary K. Atwood, C.T.R., and Henry G. Kaplan, M.D.
The study was funded by the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Surveillance System of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (http://radiology.rsna.org/)
RSNA is an association of more than 48,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)
For patient-friendly information on mammography, visit RadiologyInfo.org.
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences