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:12/5/2016)... MALVERN, PA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Management ("CSM"), a Great Point Partners ("GPP") portfolio company, today announced it ... Clinical Supplies ("TCS"). TCS was previously a subsidiary of Chiltern International ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... The new knee compression ... looking to buy neoprene knee sleeves for lifting and any sport that ... heavily on two main aspects to provide a higher quality knee sleeve performance. Firstly ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... ... December 05, 2016 , ... A newly released ... improves the reproducibility and accuracy of placing precordial electrodes with little cognitive effort ... the last 60 years, studies have shown that single electrode misplacement is one ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... December 03, 2016 , ... Houston ... the 2016 Anti-Aging & Beauty Awards at The Aesthetic & Anti-aging Medicine ... Medicine European Congress (AMEC) brings together the industry’s leading scientific experts, speakers, ...
(Date:12/4/2016)... ... ... Responsible dental care hinges on regular brushing of the teeth. However, just brushing ... inspired an inventor from Las Vegas, Nev., to design the BRUSH PROPER. , ... bad techniques of brushing the teeth in order to prevent cavities," he said. "Children ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Sharn Anesthesia Inc. announced today that ... distribution partner for Salter Labs.  The company also received ... recognition of outstanding sales performance. Salter Labs ... anesthesia care, including the market gold standard ECO 2 ... distributor of the Parker Flex-Tip® Endotracheal Tube, which is ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... -- Sanovas, Inc., a life science asset holding ... its wholly owned subsidiary, Intubation Science, Inc., and its LightSpeed ... - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161202/445251LOGO   ... Sanovas, Inc. ... There are over 40 million Endotracheal Intubations performed ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... 5, 2016  Recently Zymo Research announced an ... known as Horvath,s Clock. Based on this technology, ... service to academic and biopharma scientific researchers to ... other than sperm. The service quantifies ... age versus chronological age following drug treatments and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: