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Risk factors may inform breast cancer screening
Date:4/30/2012

ving extremely dense breast tissue (as seen on a mammogram).

"Mainly, we wanted to find out the tipping point: what level of increased risk women in their 40s needed to have to reach the same benefit-to-harm ratio for screening mammography as women aged 50 to 74," said Dr. Miglioretti. The international research team used data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), a U.S. research network of mammography registries. The BCSC is the nation's largest longitudinal collection of breast imaging data, covering 9.5 million mammograms, 2.3 million women, and 114,000 breast cancer cases so far. By continuously collecting information on breast cancer screening, risk factors, and cancer outcomes, the BCSC provides long-term data on screening as it occurs in everyday clinical practice to help answer preventive health care questions.

Tipping the balance of benefits and harms to favor screening mammography starting at age 40 years

In one article, Nicolien van Ravesteyn, MSc, Jeanne Mandelblatt, MD, MPH, and colleagues including Drs. Miglioretti and Buist identified the threshold of risk needed for women ages 40󈞝 to have comparable benefits and harms as seen when average-risk women aged 50󈞶 are screened every other year using mammography. They used four independent well-established simulation models that are part of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) collaborative. Ms. van Ravesteyn is a researcher at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Dr. Mandelblatt is the associate director for population sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, DC.

To estimate the benefits and harms of mammography screening for women in their 40s, the CISNET models used BCSC and other information on large populations of U.S. women. The results indicated that the benefits and harms from screenin
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Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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