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Mammography Invites Linked to Fewer Breast Cancer Deaths

One breast cancer death prevented for every 414 or 519 women screened over seven years

TUESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Invitation to mammographic screening is correlated with a significant reduction in mortality from breast cancer in the long term, according to a study published online June 28 in Radiology.

László Tabár, M.D., from Falun Central Hospital in Sweden, and colleagues analyzed both relative and absolute long-term effects (29 years) of mammographic screening on breast cancer mortality in 133,065 women, between 40 and 74 years of age, from two Swedish counties, who were randomized to receive either an invitation to screening or the usual care. Local trial end-point committees and an independent external committee determined the case status and cause of death, and a mortality analysis was performed.

The investigators identified a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality in women invited to screening, from both local end-point committee data and consensus data (relative risk, 0.69 and 0.73, respectively). In order to prevent one breast cancer death, the number of women who needed to undergo screening for a period of seven years was 414 according to local data and 519 according to consensus data, as calculated at the 29-year follow-up. Most of the deaths from breast cancer that were prevented would have occurred after the first 10 years of follow-up, in the absence of screening.

"A substantial and significant reduction in breast cancer mortality was associated with an invitation to screening," the authors write.

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