Thousands of Lives Spared Thanks to Screening, Treatment, Study Reports

Thousands of Lives Spared Thanks to Screening, Treatment, Study Reports
Since 1989, between 384,000 and 615,000 women's lives have been spared thanks to significant advancements in breast cancer screening methods and treatment, a study reports. The findings of the study, "Breast cancer deaths averted over 3 decades," were published in Cancer. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program indicate that between 1975 and 1990, breast cancer mortality rates increased by 0.4% every year in the U.S. Since 1990, however, mortality rates dropped by 1.8% each year until 1998, and then even further, by 3.4% per year until 2015. "This decrease has been attributed to the increased use of screening mammography combined with improved breast cancer treatment," the researchers said. Screening mammography became a popular and widely available method for breast cancer detection since the mid-1980s, and its use rose into the early 2000s. According to mathematical models developed by the Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), screening mammography was responsible for a reduction of 28-65% in breast cancer deaths in the year 2000, and the remaining decrease was linked to progress in breast cancer therapies. In this study, three scientists — R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Jay Baker, MD, of
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