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Mammography has led to fewer late-stage breast cancers, U-M study finds
Date:6/10/2014

er, but we are decreasing the number of late-stage cases that tend to be more challenging to treat and more deadly," says senior study author Mark Helvie, M.D., professor of radiology and director of breast imaging at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

There are many reasons why breast cancer incidence is increasing over time, including reproductive, dietary and environmental factors. Prior estimates showed a 1 percent to 3 percent annual increase in the United States and Europe before mammography screening began. In countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe with no routine screening mammography, breast cancer rates are increasing as much as 3 percent to 5 percent per year.

Importantly, the current study also found that since mammography was introduced, there has been an overall 9 percent decrease in invasive breast cancer, when factoring in a 1.3 percent annual percentage increase. This has been offset by an increase in ductal carcinoma in situ, so-called stage 0 breast cancer, which is not invasive.

"While we have seen an increase in overall breast cancer incidence over the last 30 years, the drop in late-stage diagnoses is a positive benefit of mammography and our heightened awareness of early detection. The decrease in late-stage disease, together with improved treatments, contributes to the decreased mortality from breast cancer in the United States in the last 20 years," Helvie says.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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