Women at risk of breast cancer ‘should be screened in their thirties’

13 February, 2019, 20:28 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Women at risk of breast cancer ‘should be screened in their thirties’

The new study estimates that regular screening plus improved treatments cut the expected rate of breast cancer death in 2018 by between 45 to 58 percent, according to the study published February 11 in the journal Cancer. To estimate the number of breast cancer deaths averted since 1989 due to the collective effects of both screening mammography and improved treatment, R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Jay Baker, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, and Mark Helvie, MD, of the University of Michigan Health System, analyzed breast cancer mortality data and female population data for US women aged 40 to 84 years over the past three decades.

Up to 86,000 women in their thirties with a family history of breast cancer should receive annual mammograms, new research has suggested.

Recent studies "have focused media attention on some of the risks of mammography screening, such as call-backs for additional imaging and breast biopsies", he said.

Lives are likely to be saved by spotting these cancers earlier and the extra screening would not create a significant risk of healthy women getting needless treatment, researchers said.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Georgia women.

Of the 35 tumours, 80% (28/35) were detected by screening when the tumour was 2cm or smaller in size, and only 20% (7/35) had spread to the lymph nodes. Hence, before allowing it to spread in the entire body, these small tumors could be removed permanently to prevent women from breast cancer.

The trial compared the results to an unscreened cohort of women aged 35-39 and at increased risk in the POSH trial4, with annual screening being shown to almost double the proportion of tumours detected before they had grown to 2cm in size.

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"Over 335,000 women were diagnosed with new breast cancer in the United States in 2018", she noted, and "eight out of ten of these women have no family history of breast cancer".

Lead author Professor Evans described the results of the trial as "very promising".

"Our trial shows that mammography screening is effective in detecting tumours earlier in this younger age group, and lays the groundwork for extending this screening in women at moderate or high risk from ages 40-49 down to women aged 35-39". Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

"Our study provides evidence of just how effective the combination of early detection and modern breast cancer treatment have been in averting breast cancer deaths", Hendrick said in a journal news release.

The advances include better understanding of the science behind breast cancer and more targeted treatments.

In its response, NHS England spokesperson assured to consider the possible changes to the screening programme in the review.

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