Breast Cancer Screening in Older Women May Not Lead to a Decline in Advanced Cases

Breast Cancer Screening in Older Women May Not Lead to a Decline in Advanced Cases
mammograms in older womenA new study published in BMJ, entitled “Effect of implementation of the mass breast cancer screening program me in older women in the Netherlands: population based study,” reports the first evidence that including women ages 70 and over in national breast cancer screens has no effect on the decline of advanced breast cases. Breast cancer is the major contributor to cancer incidence and cancer-related mortality in women, with the latter increasing with age. Screening programs introduced to detect early breast cancer stages are assumed to benefit older women. Accordingly, many recommended breast cancer guidelines include screening with mammography for women aged up to 75 years. In 1998, The Netherlands extended the upper age limit of the mass screening program from 69 to 75 years. However, since clinical trials rarely include women over the age of 60 years, no current data exists for the beneficial effects of breast cancer screening in older women. A team from the Leiden University Medical Centre took advantage of the change in Netherlands's guidelines from 69 to 75 years of age to study the impact on diag
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