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Breast Cancer Screening Concepts

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One study of 576 women with interval cancers reported that interval cancers are more prevalent in women aged 40 to 49 years. Interval cancers appearing within 12 months of a negative screening mammogram appear to be related to decreased mammographic sensitivity, attributable to greater breast density in 68% of cases. Those appearing within a 24-month interval appear to be related both to decreased mammographic sensitivity due to greater breast density in 37.6% and to rapid tumor growth in 30.6%.[9]

Another study that compared the characteristics of 279 screen-detected cancers with those of 150 interval cancers found that interval cancers were much more likely to occur in women younger than 50 years and to be of mucinous or lobular histology; or to have high histologic grade, high proliferative activity, relatively benign features mammographically and/or to lack calcifications. Screen-detected cancers were more likely to have tubular histology; to be smaller, low stage, and hormone sensitive; and to have a major component of ductal carcinomain situ.[6]

References:

  1. Moody-Ayers SY, Wells CK, Feinstein AR: "Benign" tumors and "early detection" in mammography-screened patients of a natural cohort with breast cancer. Arch Intern Med 160 (8): 1109-15, 2000.
  2. Carney PA, Miglioretti DL, Yankaskas BC, et al.: Individual and combined effects of age, breast density, and hormone replacement therapy use on the accuracy of screening mammography. Ann Intern Med 138 (3): 168-75, 2003.
  3. Rosenberg RD, Hunt WC, Williamson MR, et al.: Effects of age, breast density, ethnicity, and estrogen replacement therapy on screening mammographic sensitivity and cancer stage at diagnosis: review of 183,134 screening mammograms in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Radiology 209 (2): 511-8, 1998.
  4. Kerlikowske K, Grady D, Barclay J, et al.: Likelihood ratios for modern screening mammography. Risk of breast cancer based on age and mammographic interpretation. JAMA 276 (1): 39-43, 1996.
  5. Physician Insurers Association of America.: Breast Cancer Study. Washington, DC: Physician Insurers Association of America, 1995.
  6. Porter PL, El-Bastawissi AY, Mandelson MT, et al.: Breast tumor characteristics as predictors of mammographic detection: comparison of interval- and screen-detected cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst 91 (23): 2020-8, 1999.
  7. Hakama M, Holli K, Isola J, et al.: Aggressiveness of screen-detected breast cancers. Lancet 345 (8944): 221-4, 1995.
  8. Tabár L, Faberberg G, Day NE, et al.: What is the optimum interval between mammographic screening examinations? An analysis based on the latest results of the Swedish two-county breast cancer screening trial. Br J Cancer 55 (5): 547-51, 1987.
  9. Buist DS, Porter PL, Lehman C, et al.: Factors contributing to mammography failure in women aged 40-49 years. J Natl Cancer Inst 96 (19): 1432-40, 2004.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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