Navigation Links
More Mammograms Equal More Mastectomies: Study
Date:9/14/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- One of the goals of mammograms is detecting breast cancer early enough to avoid needing a mastectomy. But a new Norwegian study suggests that mastectomy rates climb higher as more women undergo the screening test.

Using national cancer data for more than 35,000 women aged 40 to 79 who were diagnosed with early or invasive breast cancers, Oslo researchers found a 31 percent increased risk of mastectomy in women invited to screening compared with a non-invited younger age group. The Norwegian breast cancer screening program began in 1996 in four counties, encompassing the country's remaining 15 counties by 2004.

While scientists did not investigate why mastectomy rates climbed in screened groups, study author Pal Suhrke said the main reason is likely "cancer overdiagnosis," or the detection and subsequent treatment of tumors that might grow very slowly and not pose much of a risk.

"Since the introduction of screening is associated with a more than 50 percent increase in breast cancer rates, some of these women are treated by mastectomy," said Suhrke, a doctoral candidate in the pathology department at Oslo University Hospital. "For many, these results are surprising and disappointing because one might suspect that due to earlier detection of tumors, the number of women needing mastectomies would decrease."

The study is published in the Sept. 13 online edition of BMJ.

Suhrke and his colleagues found that the country's annual mastectomy rate rose by 9 percent in women aged 50 to 69 -- the group invited to screening -- between the pre-screening period from 1993 to 1995 and the introduction of biennial screening from 1996 to 2004.

In contrast, mastectomy rates fell by 17 percent in non-invited women aged 40 to 49 and 13 percent in non-invited women aged 70 to 79.

Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the study raises some valid points, but "they haven't addressed all the issues," such as the idea that some breast cancer patients opt for more radical surgery because they don't want to worry about the potential for recurrence of even early-stage cancers.

The researchers also noted that some Norwegian women in the study didn't live near a radiation center, Bernik said, making mastectomy a safer option because follow-up radiation treatments were not otherwise accessible. Breast reconstruction techniques have also improved greatly in the past decade, she added.

"I think it's true, if you screen more you're going to find more cancers. That ultimately should lead to better survival for these patients," she said. "Mastectomy is not as dreadful a choice as it used to be."

Indeed, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic indicated that few breast cancer survivors who opt for a double mastectomy as a precautionary measure regretted their decision decades later. Twenty years after surgery, 92 percent said they would make the same decision, according to preliminary findings presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons' annual meeting in April.

Bernik cautioned that the take-home message of the Norwegian study isn't that women shouldn't get screened. While mammograms do find some early-stage cancers that may never progress, and those women go on to be treated anyway -- "you can't pick and choose which ones are going to be a problem or not . . . and so there is going to be an element of overtreatment," she said.

"I think we should continue screening and work toward ways of potentially trying to figure out who needs more extensive surgery," Bernik added.

More information

Learn more about breast reconstruction surgery after mastectomy from the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Pal Suhrke, doctoral candidate, department of pathology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; Stephanie Bernik, M.D., chief, surgical oncology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Sept. 13, 2011 BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Survey Finds Access to Mammograms Declining for Women Under Age 50
2. Access to Mammograms Drops After Guidelines Change
3. 89 Women Celebrate Mardi Gras with Mammograms
4. Mammograms May Not Boost Survival, Danish Study Suggests
5. Physicians who interpret mammograms may benefit from additional training
6. For Younger Women, Mammograms Not Too Effective: Study
7. Screening mammograms in younger women have low accuracy and detect few cancers
8. Mammograms Cut Breast Cancer Death Rates, But Only Modestly: Study
9. Mammograms Save Lives for Women in Their 40s, Study Says
10. Latest Findings Back Mammograms for Women in Their 40s
11. Cancer Risk From Radiation of Mammograms Is Slight: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run ... This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed ... geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance (FHC), ... will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th Annual ... Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, ... the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA ... the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx ... services company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager ... of its new brand, which included the unveiling of ... Fla. , as well as at a few ... introduces the new brand to patients, some of whom ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation ... and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with ... nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for rare ... system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 2017  EpiVax, Inc., a leader in the ... today announced the launch of EpiVax Oncology Inc., ... therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax has provided $500,000 in ... enabling technologies to the new precision immunotherapy venture. ... Oncology as Chief Executive Officer. Gad brings over ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: