Breast cancer death rate reduced by mammography screening
After 20 years of regular mammography screening in the Netherlands, the death rate from breast cancer has dropped significantly. This became known from a study now published. Just two years ago, Danish scientists doubted the success of such a screening for breast cancer screening, because misdiagnoses often result, which unsettled women.
Breast cancer mortality reduced by 31 percent
At the 8th European Breast Cancer Congress in Vienna, the Dutch researchers pointed out that in 2009 the death rate from breast cancer in women between 50 and 75 years was 31 percent lower than before the program was started between 1986 and 1988. Rianne de Gelder, one of the authors of the study said that the reduction in death rate was not solely due to mammography screening and subsequent therapies. Newer diagnostic and treatment methods for breast cancer could also have contributed to this.
Just two years ago, Danish scientists doubted that breast cancer screening would be promising. Misdiagnoses would often be made, which would make women very unsettled. The researchers from the University of Rotterdam have now stated that wrong diagnoses of breast cancer as well as incorrect assessments of the dangerousness of tumors would not be common. The risk of misdiagnosis is six percent in a woman who has had mammography screening for 20 years. "We are convinced that the benefits of the screening program outweigh any negative effects," says Jacques Fracheboud from the medical center of the University of Rotterdam. The study results are "convincing evidence that the program has contributed to a decrease in breast cancer mortality in the Netherlands over the past 20 years".
Germany's highest breast cancer death rate In the Netherlands, 2.5 million women have had breast cancer screening since 1990. A total of 13.2 exams were performed, resulting in 178,000 referrals and 67,000 breast cancer diagnoses.
In 2005, mammography screening was also introduced as a screening test in Germany. The exam is free every two years for women aged 50 to 69. Mammography can also diagnose small, non-palpable changes in the breast. The earlier a tumor is recognized, the greater the chances of a cure.
According to an Italian study, Germany holds the unfortunate top position in breast cancer death rate. According to the calculations of the researchers around Matteo Malvezzi, 16.5 out of 100,000 women are affected. However, the average in the European Union (EU) is only 14.9 out of 100,000 women. Overall, however, the number of deaths from breast cancer has decreased. In Germany, 7.5 percent fewer deaths have been recorded since 2007, and the EU average was nine percent. Every year, around 18,000 women in the Federal Republic strive for the consequences of breast cancer. (ag)
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