Regular mammography screening may reduce death risk in breast cancer

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Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early, possibly before it has spread.

In a recent study from Falun Central Hospital, scientists 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.

Breast cancer screening with mammography has helped reduce disease-related deaths by enabling the 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 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 of 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.

If you care about cancer, please read studies that artificial sweeteners are linked to higher cancer risk, and how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about Aspirin linked to better bladder and breast cancer survival, and results showing this plant may cut cancer risk from processed meat.

The study was published in the journal Radiology and conducted by László Tabár et al.

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