Breast screening offers long-term benefits

28th June 2011

There are long-term benefits of using mammography as a cancer diagnosis tool, it has been claimed.

A long-running study conducted at Queen Mary University of London showed that the number of deaths prevented by breast screening is rising every year.

Over 130,000 women were included in the study, which compared a group who were invited for regular mammograms with a control group. Both groups were followed over a 29 year period.

Results showed that 30 per cent fewer women in the screening group died of breast cancer, an effect which was seen year after year.

Senior author, Professor Stephen Duffy explained: "Breast cancer can take many years to develop so to tell if screening is effective, we need to see how women fair in the long-term.
"In this study, we've continued to monitor women for nearly three decades and we've found that the longer we look, the more lives are saved."

All women in the UK between the ages of 50 and 70 are routinely screened for breast cancer.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 "Swedish Two-County Trial: Impact of Mammographic Screening on Breast Cancer Mortality during 3 Decades", Tabár et al, Radiology

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