Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz MD PhD Research Associate Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Mongan Institute for Health Policy Massachusetts General Hospital

After Age 75 Mammograms May Not Decrease Chance of Dying of Breast Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz MD PhD Research Associate Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Mongan Institute for Health Policy Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Garcia-De-Albeniz

Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz MD PhD
Research Associate
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Mongan Institute for Health Policy
Massachusetts General Hospital 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The goal of breast cancer screening is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding breast cancer at early, more treatable stages. The main way to screen for breast cancer is periodic mammography, which is an x-ray of the breast that can show tumors before they are large enough to feel. High-quality studies called clinical trials have shown that screening women in their 50s and 60s decreases breast cancer deaths. However, the point at which women can safely stop screening because it no longer decreases breast cancer deaths has not been studied. More than half of women in the United States continue screening mammography after age 75 years. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Continuing yearly screening with mammography past age 75 years was not associated with substantial decreases in breast cancer deaths over 8 years of follow-up.

Regardless of the age, women were less likely to receive aggressive therapies (radical mastectomy, chemotherapy) for breast cancer if they continued screening.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Women older than 75 years may not decrease their chances of dying of breast cancer by continuing to have mammography.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research can focus on identifying women that may benefit most from screening based on factors other than age.

No disclosures

Citation:

Continuation of Annual Screening Mammography and Breast Cancer Mortality in Women Older Than 70 Years
Xabier García-Albéniz, MD, PhD; Miguel A. Hernán, MD, DrPH; Roger W. Logan, PhD; Mary Price, PhD; Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE; John Hsu, MD, MBA, MSCE

 Ann Intern Med. 2020. DOI: 10.7326/M18-1199

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Feb 25, 2020 @ 11:52 am

 

 

 

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