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Radiology. 2018 Apr;287(1):58-67. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017162159. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

Interval Breast Cancer Rates and Histopathologic Tumor Characteristics after False-Positive Findings at Mammography in a Population-based Screening Program.

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From the Cancer Registry of Norway, PO 5313 Majorstuen, 0304 Oslo, Norway (S.H., S. Sagstad, S. Sebuødegård); Department of Pathology, Akershus Universitetssykehus HF, Lorenskog, Norway (Y.C.); Department of Epidemiology and Evaluation, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain (M.R.); and Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Wash (C.I.L.).


Purpose To compare rates and tumor characteristics of interval breast cancers (IBCs) detected after a negative versus false-positive screening among women participating in the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program. Materials and Methods The Cancer Registry Regulation approved this retrospective study. Information about 423 445 women aged 49-71 years who underwent 789 481 full-field digital mammographic screening examinations during 2004-2012 was extracted from the Cancer Registry of Norway. Rates and odds ratios of IBC among women with a negative (the reference group) versus a false-positive screening were estimated by using logistic regression models adjusted for age at diagnosis and county of residence. Results A total of 1302 IBCs were diagnosed after 789 481 screening examinations, of which 7.0% (91 of 1302) were detected among women with a false-positive screening as the most recent breast imaging examination before detection. By using negative screening as the reference, adjusted odds ratios of IBCs were 3.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.6, 4.2) and 2.8 (95% CI: 1.8, 4.4) for women with a false-positive screening without and with needle biopsy, respectively. Women with a previous negative screening had a significantly lower proportion of tumors that were 10 mm or less (14.3% [150 of 1049] vs 50.0% [seven of 14], respectively; P < .01) and grade I tumors (13.2% [147 of 1114] vs 42.9% [six of 14]; P < .01), but a higher proportion of cases with lymph nodes positive for cancer (40.9% [442 of 1080] vs 13.3% [two of 15], respectively; P = .03) compared with women with a previous false-positive screening with benign biopsy. A retrospective review of the screening mammographic examinations identified 42.9% (39 of 91) of the false-positive cases to be the same lesion as the IBC. Conclusion By using a negative screening as the reference, a false-positive screening examination increased the risk of an IBC three-fold. The tumor characteristics of IBC after a negative screening were less favorable compared with those detected after a previous false-positive screening. © RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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