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Research examines when benefits of screening mammography outweigh the harms for women in their 40s
Date:4/30/2012

ich, for this study, utilized four well-established models from four international, independent research groups. The basic data used for the modeling were the same as those on which the USPSTF based their 2009 screening recommendations, but additional data regarding thresholds of risk was added for this new research. Cost was not a factor. BCSC, a research network of mammography registries in the United States, provided collaboration and some of the new data. As of 2011, the BCSC's database contains information on over 9.5 million mammograms, 114,000 breast cancer cases, and over 2.3 million women.

This study used comparative modeling. Separate modeling efforts often yield disparate results that are difficult to reconcile. A comparative modeling approach explores differences between models in a systematic way and results are compared across models. The models simulated life histories for populations of women estimating breast cancer incidence and deaths if they didn't receive screening and treatment. Then the models overlaid screening use and improvements in survival associated with treatment advances. Data interpretation was provided by the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center. The researchers were able to establish a representation of the influence that breast cancer screening has on the simulated life histories based on risk levels.

Mandelblatt concludes, "Reducing the false-positive rate is crucial to improving the balance of benefits and harms for screening regimens for women of all ages."
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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