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Mammography Screening Model Based on Breast Density Studied

Baseline measure of breast density at age 40 years would direct women with dense breasts to earlier, more frequent mammogram schedule

mammogram scan

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A breast cancer screening strategy stratified by breast density measured at age 40 years could be cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ya-Chen Tina Shih, Ph.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues examined the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer screening strategies that are stratified by breast density in women aged 40 years and older.

The researchers found that in the base-case analysis, baseline screening at age 40 years, followed by annual screening between ages 40 and 75 years for women with dense breasts and biennial screening from ages 50 to 75 years for women without dense breasts, was effective and cost-effective. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $36,200 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) for the breast density-stratified strategy compared with a biennial strategy from age 50 to 75 years. In a sensitivity analysis, there was a 56 percent probability that the breast density-stratified strategy at age 40 years was optimal compared with six other strategies at a societal willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000 per QALY.

"Our analysis suggests that a baseline breast density assessment at age 40 years, followed by an annual screening for women with dense breasts and biennial screening starting at age 50 years for women without dense breasts, is likely to be cost-effective and warrants consideration by national panels developing early detection recommendations for breast cancer screening," the authors write.

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