Breast screening vastly reduces risk of cancer deathDecember 03 2018
Women who undertake regular breast screening checks have a 60 per cent lower risk of dying from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis, new research shows.
A study of 50,000 women by a team of international researchers, including UniSA cancer epidemiologist Dr Kerri Beckmann, provides conclusive evidence that women whose breast cancer is diagnosed because of regular mammograms, respond much better to treatment due to early detection.
The research, published in the journal Cancer, used international data to compare breast cancer outcomes of women enrolled in organised breast screening programs over the past 39 years with those who were not.
Researchers say that while all women with breast cancer have benefitted from advances in treatment, there is overwhelming evidence in favour of regular mammograms where mortality is concerned.
Dr Kerri Beckmann, a joint UniSA and King’s College London NHMRC Research Fellow, says the benefits of regular screening are also evident within 20 years of diagnosis, with a 47 per cent lower risk of dying from breast cancer.
The study involved 52,348 women aged 40-69 years in Sweden during 39 years of screening. All patients received stage-specific treatment according to the latest national guidelines, irrespective of how the breast cancer was detected.
“Our findings show that women who choose not to participate in screening experience a significantly higher rate of advanced breast cancers, a greater need for more extensive surgery, a much higher risk of upper body impairments and more extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy,” Dr Beckmann says.
“For each breast cancer death prevented by screening, a woman is spared the terminal stages of this disease and gains an extra 16.5 years. It is time we focused on combining diagnosis and therapy instead of viewing them as independent, or worse, competing interests.”
For a copy of the paper, please email email@example.com
Notes for editors
In Australia, free breast cancer screening is offered to all women aged between 50 and 74 years, every two years.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australia, with an estimated 18,000 women and 148 men diagnosed in 2018. While survival rates have improved markedly in the past decade with 91 per cent of patients surviving at least five years, breast cancer still accounts for around 6.5 per cent of all deaths from cancer.
Media contact: NHMRC Research Fellow Dr Kerri Beckmann email: firstname.lastname@example.org
UniSA Media Officer Candy Gibson office (08) 8302 0961mobile:0434 605 142
email: candy.gibson @unisa.edu.au
"Obesity has been called both a disability and a disease, and just another way of being in the world. The reality i… https://t.co/nE1H2ia32m
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College