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Lancet. 1988 Aug 20;2(8608):411-6.

First results on mortality reduction in the UK Trial of Early Detection of Breast Cancer. UK Trial of Early Detection of Breast Cancer Group.

[No authors listed]


Between 1979 and 1981 the UK Trial of Early Detection of Breast Cancer enrolled women aged 45-64 living in eight locations in the United Kingdom. Annual screening by clinical examination of the breast, with mammography in alternate years, was provided over 7 years for 45,841 women; 63,636 were offered teaching in breast self-examination and were provided with a self-referral clinic; and 127,117, for whom no extra services were provided, form a comparison population. Over the 7 years from the start of the trial a reduction in the risk of dying from breast cancer in women offered screening relative to that in the comparison population was observed. The reduction was 14% (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.69-1.08) when no allowance was made for underlying differences in breast cancer mortality between the populations, but rose to 20% (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.64-1.01) when adjusted for differences in pretrial mortality rates. These differences fall short of statistical significance. No reduction in mortality was observed during the first 5 years but thereafter the gap widens. These results, though in themselves inconclusive, are consistent with the hypothesis that screening can achieve a worthwhile mortality reduction. No difference in mortality has so far been observed between women offered teaching in breast self-examination and the comparison population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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