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Ann Oncol. 2011 Aug;22(8):1726-35. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq633. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Advanced breast cancer incidence following population-based mammographic screening.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, International Prevention Research Institute (iPRI), Lyon, France. philippe.autier@i-pri.fr



Breast cancer mortality is declining in many Western countries. If mammography screening contributed to decreases in mortality, then decreases in advanced breast cancer incidence should also be noticeable.


We assessed incidence trends of advanced breast cancer in areas where mammography screening is practiced for at least 7 years with 60% minimum participation and where population-based registration of advanced breast cancer existed. Through a systematic Medline search, we identified relevant published data for Australia, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands, U.K. and the U.S.A. Data from cancer registries in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the U.S.A. (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), and Connecticut), and Tasmania (Australia) were available for the study. Criterion for advanced cancer was the tumour size, and if not available, spread to regional/distant sites.


Age-adjusted annual percent changes (APCs) were stable or increasing in ten areas (APCs of -0.5% to 1.7%). In four areas (Firenze, the Netherlands, SEER and Connecticut) there were transient downward trends followed by increases back to pre-screening rates.


In areas with widespread sustained mammographic screening, trends in advanced breast cancer incidence do not support a substantial role for screening in the decrease in mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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