Breast-cancer mortality in a non-randomized trial on mammographic screening in women over age 65

National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening in the Netherlands, Nijmegen.
International Journal of Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.09). 02/1997; 70(2):164-8. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19970117)70:23.3.CO;2-N
Source: PubMed


Recent case-referent studies in the Nijmegen breast-screening programme have shown a reduction in breast-cancer mortality of approximately 50% due to screening of women aged 65 years and older. In this type of study, however, the results may be biased because of self-selection. The purpose of our present study was to compare the breast-cancer mortality rate in a population invited for screening with that of a reference population from an area without a screening programme. In 1977-1978, 6773 women aged 68-83 years were enrolled in the mammographic screening programme in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The women were followed up until 31 December, 1990. The reference population consisted of women from the same birth cohort from Arnhem, a neighbouring city without mass screening, for whom the entry date was 1 January, 1978. The ratios of the Nijmegen and Arnhem breast-cancer mortality rates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. In the study period, 173 patients were diagnosed with primary breast cancer in Nijmegen vs. 183 in Arnhem; 40 Nijmegen patients had died of breast cancer vs. 51 Arnhem patients. The cumulative mortality-rate ratio was 0.80 (95% CI = 0.53-1.22). In the periods 1978-1981, 1982-1985 and 1986-1990, the mortality rate ratios were 1.44 (95% CI = 0.67-3.10), 081 (95% CI = 0.37-1.79) and 0.53 (95% CI = 0.27-1.04), respectively. After adjustment for the difference in incidence rate that existed between the Nijmegen and Arnhem populations, mammographic screening of women older than 65 can be expected to yield a 40% reduction in breast-cancer mortality after 10 years.

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Available from: Jos Van Dijck, Jan 21, 2016
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    • "Both screening and non-screening regions had equal access to treatment for breast cancer. Five geographic comparisons were found −2 from the Netherlands, 2 from Sweden, and 1 from England [31], [39]–[42]. Jonssson et al., 2007 screened women 40–74 and provided separate mortality numbers for women 40–49, 50–69, and 70+. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The magnitude of the benefit associated with screening has been debated. We present a meta-analysis of quasi-experimental studies on the effects of mammography screening. Methods We searched MEDLINE/PubMed and Embase for articles published through January 31, 2013. Studies were included if they reported: 1) a population-wide breast cancer screening program using mammography with 5+ years of data post-implementation; 2) a comparison group with equal access to therapies; and 3) breast cancer mortality. Studies excluded were: RCTs, case-control, or simulation studies. We defined quasi-experimental as studies that compared either geographical, historical or birth cohorts with a screening program to an equivalent cohort without a screening program. Meta-analyses were conducted in Stata using the metan command, random effects. Meta-analyses were conducted separately for ages screened: under 50, 50 to 69 and over 70 and weighted by population and person-years. Results Among 4,903 published papers that were retrieved, 19 studies matched eligibility criteria. Birth cohort studies reported a significant benefit for women screened <age 50, but not for women screened ages 50–69. Significant reductions in breast cancer mortality were observed in historical comparisons. For geographical comparisons, there was a significant 20% reduction in mortality for women <age 50 and a significant 21–22% reduction for women ages 50–69. Studies that tested the interaction of geographical and historical comparisons produced a pooled, significant 13–17% reduction in incident breast cancer mortality for women ages 50–69, but the effects in most individual studies were non-significant. All studies of women ages 70+ were non-significant. Conclusions Mammography screening may have modest effects on cancer mortality between the ages of 50 and 69 and non-significant effects for women older than age 70. Results are consistent with meta-analyses of RCTs. Effects on total mortality could not be assessed because of the limited number of studies.
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