Posts Tagged ‘mammography’

Does Mammography Lead to Fewer Late-Stage Breast Cancers?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014


In a new study published in Cancer researchers concluded that in the last 30 years since mammography was introduced, the late-stage breast cancer incidence decreased by 37 percent.  Researchers took into account an observed trend of increased cancer incidence present since the 1940’s. The researchers looked at early-stage and late-stage breast cancer diagnoses between 1977-1979, before mammography was popular, and compared it with diagnoses between 2007 and 2009. Based upon trends observed over the period the researchers took into account a central increase in breast cancer incidence of 1.3 percent per year called an annual percentage change (APC).  Thus, the number of  breast cancers diagnosed increased independently of efforts for early detection. The researchers lo0ked  at the data from the 1970”s and projected incidence of early and late stage breast cancer in 2007-2009 based upon the APC. They then compared the projected rates with actual rates. they found that late-stage breast cancer incidence decreased by 37 percent from the projected rate, whereas the early-stage breast cancer incidence increased by 48 percent from 1977-1979 to 2007-2009. They also carried out similar analysis using different APC values ranging from 0.5 to 2 percent and all estimates showed a substantial decrease in late-stage breast cancer. They said this is what you would expect with a successful screening program. Researchers said we are detecting more early-stage breast cancer while decreasing the incidence of late-stage cancers that are more difficult to treat according to Dr Mark Helvie.

Can Stopping Hormone Therapy Help Regression of Breast Cancer

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

A new report e-published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention concluded that as women stop hormone therapy, their rates of new breast cancer decreased.

The researchers studied 741,681 woman-years of data with a minimum of 3.3 years per woman from 163,490 women aged 50 to 79 who had no prior history of breast cancer. The study prospectively looked at the use of screening mammography among individual women by their hormone status linked to their breast cancer diagnosis according to the researchers.

Previous research had shown a decline in new breast cancer cases and the use of hormone therapy and screening by mammography since the 2002 publication of a study on the relationship of breast cancer rates and the use of estrogen and progestin. Some believed the decline seen in breast cancer rates was a result of the decrease in use of hormone therapy.  Others believed the decline in breast cancer rates and hormone use  may have been a result of a decrease in the use of mammography screening by former hormone users. The current researchers set out to test these ideas and found that before 2002 former users of hormone therapy had lower rates of mammography screening than did current users but this is no longer true. Instead, former users had the same or slightly higher screening rates than current users. They concluded “the differences in rates of screening mammography don’t explain the declines in rates of the incidence of invasive breast cancer among women who stopped using hormone therapy. “

Annual vs Biennual Mammography for Breast Cancer Detection

Friday, October 28th, 2011


A new study to be published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that by being screened for mammogram every other year a woman’s probability of having a false positive episode is reduced by about a third-from 61% to 42% over the course of a decade. –

In the study almost 170,000 women between age 40 and 59 from seven regions of the United States and almost 4,500 women with invasive breast cancer were evaluated in relation to mammograms. Because of the added decade of testing, they found that women who started mammograms at 40 instead of 50 were more likely to have more false-positive results that lead to more treatment. The authors said “this study provides accurate estimates of the risk of a false-positive mammography and breast biopsy for women undergoing repeat mammography in community practice, and so provides important information about the potential harms of undergoing regular mammography.”
An additional report to be published in the same issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine studied almost 333.000 women between age 40 and 79 to examine the accuracy of film mammography against digital screening which is replacing the older film screening. Findings showed that overall cancer detection rates were similar for both methods but digital screening may be better for women between age 40 and 49 who are more likely to have extremely dense breasts associated with lower cancer detection. The study also found that digital mammography better detects estrogen receptor-negative tumors for women between age 40 and 49. If women start biennial screening at age 40, they will undergo 17 exams, and those who start annual screenings at age 40 will undergo 34 exams. The researchers concluded that screening every other year would likely lessen the chances of false-positive tests but “could also delay cancer diagnosis.” However, the authors found that for those diagnosed with cancer, women screened every two years were not significantly more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer compared to those screened every year.

New Method to Predict the Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer

Friday, May 7th, 2010


A new study reported online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) that is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer will have the opportunity to be more selective about their treatment in the future. This is a result of discovering a way to predict which women with DCIS are at risk of developing more invasive tumors later in life.
Following the medical histories of 1,162 women aged 40 and older who were diagnosed with DCIS and treated with lumpectomy, the researchers found two factors predictive of risk of developing invasive cancer within 8 years after a diagnosis of DSCI. These were the method by which the cancer was detected (lump or mammography) and the expression of several biomarkers (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, Ki67 antigen, p16, epidermal growth factor receptor-2, and cyclooxygenase-2). Results showed that a breast lump diagnosed as DSCI was more predictive of a higher risk of later invasive cancer than DSCI diagnosed by mammography. In addition, different combinations of biomarkers identified on the initial DSCI tissue were associated with different levels of risk of invasive cancer. Women who had high levels of p16, cyclooxygenase-2, and Ki67 were more likely to develop invasive cancer after their initial DCSI diagnoses and these markers will predict as far as 8 years in the future. One of the researchers said the findings show that the group of patients with the lowest risk has only a 2 percent chance of developing invasive cancer by 5 years and 4 percent chance at 8 years. He further said “This is an exciting and powerful beginning to be able to predict which pre-cancers will lie dormant and which will lead to invasive cancers. For the first time, we’ve identified that group of patients who have the lowest risk and the group at highest risk of developing invasive cancer. It’s a big step.”

Combining MRI and Mammography Screening May Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths for High Risk Women

Friday, March 5th, 2010


A new study in the March issue of Radiology reported that combining mammography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be a cost effective way to reduce the chances of dying for high risk breast cancer women. An increased lifetime risk of developing breast cancer occurs in women with mutations of the BRCA1 gene and using mammography for screening this group (the usual method) detects less than half of the breast cancers.

The researchers compared the cost and benefits of mammography and of MRI’s separately and in combination in a hypothetical group of 25 year old women with BRCA1 mutations. Using a statistical modeling technique to estimate the number of quality adjusted years added by screening and the lifetime costs they concluded that an annual combined screening was best at detecting early stage cancer and at providing the best relative reduction in deaths. Using the combination was most cost effective as the risk of breast cancer increased and least cost effective as it decreased. These findings support the current screening recommendations of the American Cancer Assn.