A Failure Analysis of Invasive Breast Cancer Most Deaths From Disease Occur in Women Not Regularly Screened

Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.89). 09/2014; 120(18). DOI: 10.1002/cncr.28199
Source: PubMed


Mortality reduction from mammographic screening is controversial. Individual randomized trials and meta-analyses demonstrate statistically significant mortality reductions in all age groups invited to screening. In women actually screened, mortality reductions are greater. Individual trials and meta-analyses show varying rates of mortality reduction, leading to questions about screening's value and whether treatment advances have diminished the importance of early detection. This study hypothesized that breast cancer deaths predominantly occurred in unscreened women.
Invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 were followed through 2007. Data included demographics, mammography use, surgical and pathology reports, and recurrence and death dates. Mammograms were categorized as screening or diagnostic based on absence or presence of breast signs or symptoms, and were substantiated by medical records. Breast cancer deaths were defined after documentation of prior distant metastases. Absence of recurrent cancer and lethal other diseases defined death from other causes.
Invasive breast cancer failure analysis defined 7301 patients between 1990 and 1999, with 1705 documented deaths from breast cancer (n = 609) or other causes (n = 905). Among 609 confirmed breast cancer deaths, 29% were among women who had been screened (19% screen-detected and 10% interval cancers), whereas 71% were among unscreened women, including > 2 years since last mammogram (6%), or never screened (65%). Overall, 29% of cancer deaths were screened, whereas 71% were unscreened. Median age at diagnosis of fatal cancers was 49 years; in deaths not from breast cancer, median age at diagnosis was 72 years.
Most deaths from breast cancer occur in unscreened women. To maximize mortality reduction and life-years gained, initiation of regular screening before age 50 years should be encouraged. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.

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Available from: Blake Cady, Oct 14, 2014

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    ABSTRACT: In this article, we have reviewed available evidence for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up in female breast cancer (BC). Into daily clinical practice some controversies are occurred. Especially, in the diagnosis field, despite the fact that the optimal age in which screening mammography should start is a subject of intense controversy, there is a shift toward the beginning at the age of 40 although it is suggested that the net benefit is small for women aged 40 to 49 years. In addition, a promising tool in BC screening seems to be breast tomosynthesis. Other tools such as 3D ultrasound and shear wave elastography (SWE) are full of optimism in BC screening although ultrasonography is not yet a first-line screening method and there is insufficient evidence to recommend the systemic use of the SWE for BC screening. As for breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), even if it is useful in BC detection in women who have a strong family history of BC, it is not generally recommended as a screening tool. Moreover, based on the lack of randomized clinical trials showing a benefit of presurgical breast MRI in overall survival, it's integration into breast surgical operations remains debatable. Interestingly, in contrast to fine needle aspiration, core biopsy has gained popularity in presurgical diagnosis. Furthermore, after conservative surgery in patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes, the recent tendency is the shift from axillary dissection to axillary conserving strategies. While the accuracy of sentinel lymph node after neoadjuvant chemotherapy and second BC surgery remains controversial, more time is needed for evaluation and for determining the optimal interval between the two surgeries. Additionally, in the decision between immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, there is a tendency in the immediate use. In the prevention of BC, the controversial issue between tamoxifen and raloxifene becomes clear with raloxifene be more profitable through the toxicities of tamoxifen. However, the prevention of bone metastasis with bisphosphonates is still conflicting. Last but not least, in the follow-up of BC survivors, mammography, history and physical examination are the means of an early detection of BC recurrence. ed.
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