Doing this can increase death risk in breast cancer

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In a new study, researchers found that attendance at regular mammography screening substantially reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer.

Women who skip even one scheduled mammography screening before a breast cancer diagnosis face a much higher risk of dying from cancer.

The research was conducted by a team from Falun Central Hospital in Falun and elsewhere.

Breast cancer screening with mammography has helped reduce disease-related deaths by enabling detection of cancer at earlier, more treatable stages.

Despite mammography’s well-established effectiveness, many women don’t participate in recommended screening examinations.

In the new study, the team took a more detailed look at screening attendance patterns to further refine mortality risk estimates.

They analyzed data from almost 550,000 women eligible for mammography screening in nine Swedish counties between 1992 and 2016.

The team found that participation in the two most recent mammography screening appointments before a breast cancer diagnosis provides higher protection against breast cancer death than participation in neither or only one examination.

The incidence of breast cancers proving fatal within 10 years of diagnosis was 50% lower for serial participants than for serial nonparticipants.

Compared to women who attended only one of the two previous screens, women who attended both had a 29% reduction in breast cancer mortality.

The team says regular participation in all scheduled screens confers the greatest reduction in a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer.

The results add further evidence to support regular screening with mammography as a means for reducing breast cancer-related deaths.

The researchers are continuing to study mammography data to develop a more comprehensive picture of screening benefits, including the impact on interval cancers that arise between screening mammography examinations.

One author of the study is László Tabár, M.D.

The study is published in the journal Radiology.

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