Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Geriatrics, Mammograms / 07.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Charles Hennekens MD Dr.P.H Sir Richard Doll Professor Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Florida Atlantic University 777 Glades Road Boca Raton, FL 33431 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Hennekens: Randomized evidence indicates clear benefits of mammography in middle age and, at present, most guidelines recommend regular mammography for women up to age 74.  In collaboration with colleagues at Baylor Medical College and Meharry Medical School we were able to link the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data to the Medicare administrative claims data.  We found that, up to 84 years, screening was more common among whites than blacks and women receiving regular annual screening mammography had lower risks of mortality from breast cancer. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Lancet, Mammograms, Radiology / 05.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Stephen Duffy BSc MSc CStat Professor Of Cancer Screening Wolfson Institute Of Preventive Medicine Queen Mary University of London Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Duffy: There is debate on the value of diagnosing and treating ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast, depending mainly on different theories about the risk of progression to invasive breast cancer if DCIS were untreated. No-one asserts that no DCIS is progressive and no-one asserts that all DCIS is progressive. There is, however, a range of opinions on the proportion of progressive disease. We found that those mammography screening units in the UK with higher detection rates of DCIS had lower subsequent rates of invasive cancers in the three years after screening. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Mammograms, UC Davis / 21.10.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD Dean's Professor in Biostatistics Department of Public Health Sciences UC Davis School of Medicine Davis, CA  95616 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Miglioretti: Screening mammography intervals remain under debate in the United States. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends biennial (every other year) screening, whereas other organizations recommend annual screening. To help inform their updated screening guidelines, the American Cancer Society guideline development group requested that the US Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium conduct a study comparing cancer outcomes among women screened annually vs. biennially. Prior studies conducted by the consortium used wide intervals for defining annual and biennial mammograms. We wanted to evaluate cancer outcomes for women who more closely adhere to screening intervals. Our goal was to determine if women diagnosed with cancer following biennial screening have tumors with less favorable prognostic characteristics compared to women diagnosed after annual screening. We evaluated outcomes separately by age and by menopausal status because evidence suggests that younger women and premenopausal women may have more aggressive tumors and thus may benefit from more frequent screening. We found from this study that premenopausal women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer following biennial versus annual screening mammography were more likely to have tumors with less-favorable prognostic characteristics (e.g., later stage, larger size). For example, women with an invasive breast cancer diagnosed after a biennial screen had a 28% increased risk of a stage IIB or higher tumor, a 21% increased risk of being diagnosed with a tumor >15 mm, and an 11% higher risk of being diagnosed with a tumor with any less-favorable prognostic characteristic compared women diagnosed with breast cancer following an annual mammogram. In contrast, we found postmenopausal women not using hormone therapy and women 50 years of age or older had similar proportions of tumors with less-favorable prognostic characteristics regardless of screening interval. Relative risk estimates were close to one with no significant differences between biennial and annual screeners. Among postmenopausal women using hormone therapy at the time of the mammogram and women age 40-49, results were less clear. Relative risk estimates for biennial versus annual screeners were consistently above one, but were not as large as for premenopausal women and were not statistically significant. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Breast Cancer, Mammograms / 13.02.2014

Anthony Miller, MD Director, Canadian National Breast Screening Study Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of TorontoMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anthony Miller, MD Director, Canadian National Breast Screening Study Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Prof. Miller:  The study involved 89,835 women aged 40 to 59. All underwent an annual physical breast examination, while half were randomly assigned to undergo annual mammograms for five years, beginning in 1980. During the five-year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the mammography arm and 524 in the controls.  Over the 25 year follow-up 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 women in the control arm died of breast cancer.  The overall hazard ratio for death from breast cancer diagnosed during the screening period associated with mammography was 1.05 (95% CI: 0.85 – 1.30).  The findings for women aged 40-49 and aged 50-59 were almost identical. After 15 years of follow-up an excess of 106 cancers was observed in the mammography arm, attributable to over-diagnosis, i.e. 22% of screen-detected invasive breast cancers, half of those detected by mammography alone. This represents one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women screened by mammography. By 2005, 3,250 of the 44,925 women in the mammography arm of the study were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 500 had died of it. The control group of 44,910 women had 3,133 breast cancer diagnoses and 505 breast cancer deaths. We conclude that annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mammograms, Medical Imaging / 22.04.2013

Nancy L. Keating MD, MPH  Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy 180 Longwood Avenue Boston, MA 02115-5899MedicalResearch.com eInterview with Nancy L. Keating MD, MPH Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy 180 Longwood Avenue Boston, MA 02115-5899 MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Keating: We examined data from the 2005, 2008 and 2011 waves of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) a national population-based in person survey to assess whether mammography rates changed following the Nov 2009 USPSTF recommendations.   Prior to 2009 the USPSTF recommended routine screening every 1-2 years for all women older than 40 years old. In 2009, the USPSTF advised against routine mammography screening in women under 50, and recommended biennial screening for women 50-74. (more…)