July 30, 2008

Two Breast Cancer Screenings Similar

A population-based breast cancer screening program in Norway compared physician- and self-referrals in Vermont in detecting cancer, researchers said.

Berta Geller of the University of Vermont in Burlington, Solveig Hofvind of the Cancer Registry of Norway and colleagues compared the screening approaches by looking at the percentage of women who were recalled for a re-evaluation, the screening detection rate of breast cancer and the rate of interval cancers in 45,050 women in Vermont and 194,430 women in Norway from 1997 to 2003.

Women included in the study were ages 50 to 69 years at the time of screening.

The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that age-adjusted screening detection rate of cancers was similar between the two populations -- 2.77 per 1,000 woman-years in Vermont versus 2.57 in Norway, however, more than three times as many women were recalled in Vermont than in Norway. When all cancers detected during regular screening and between screening mammograms were combined, there were no substantial differences in the prognostic features of invasive cancers detected in the two populations.