Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Screen. 2010;17(1):25-30. doi: 10.1258/jms.2009.009094.

Absolute numbers of lives saved and overdiagnosis in breast cancer screening, from a randomized trial and from the Breast Screening Programme in England.

Author information

1
CR-UK Centre for Epidemiology, Statistics and Mathematics, Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Med Screen. 2010 Jun;17(2):106.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the absolute numbers of breast cancer deaths prevented and the absolute numbers of tumours overdiagnosed in mammographic screening for breast cancer at ages 50-69 years.

SETTING:

The Swedish Two-County randomized trial of mammographic screening for breast cancer, and the UK Breast Screening Programme in England, ages 50-69 years.

METHODS:

We estimated the absolute numbers of deaths avoided and additional cases diagnosed in the study group (active study population) of the Swedish Two-County Trial, by comparison with the control group (passive study population). We estimated the same quantities for the mortality and incidence rates in England (1974-2004 and 1974-2003, respectively). We used Poisson regression for statistical inference.

RESULTS:

A substantial and significant reduction in breast cancer mortality was associated with screening in both the Two-County Trial (P < 0.001) and the screening programme in England (P < 0.001). The absolute benefits were estimated as 8.8 and 5.7 breast cancer deaths prevented per 1000 women screened for 20 years starting at age 50 from the Two-County Trial and screening programme in England, respectively. The corresponding estimated numbers of cases overdiagnosed per 1000 women screened for 20 years were, respectively, 4.3 and 2.3 per 1000.

CONCLUSIONS:

The benefit of mammographic screening in terms of lives saved is greater in absolute terms than the harm in terms of overdiagnosis. Between 2 and 2.5 lives are saved for every overdiagnosed case.

PMID:
20356942
PMCID:
PMC3104821
DOI:
10.1258/jms.2009.009094
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center