The impact of mammographic screening on the surgical management of breast cancer

Authors

  • Ted A. James MD MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
    2. Department of Surgery, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont
    • Correspondence to: Ted A. James, MD, MS, FACS, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Skin and Soft Tissue Surgical Oncology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 89 Beaumont Ave, Given Building, Burlington, VT 05404. Fax: 802-656-5870. E-mail: ted.james@uvm.edu

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  • Jacqueline E. Wade BA,

    1. College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
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  • Brian L. Sprague PhD

    1. College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
    2. Department of Surgery, University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, Vermont
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Abstract

Background and Objectives

Mammographic screening has been shown to result in downward stage migration, reflected by smaller tumor sizes and less extensive nodal involvement. National guidelines restrict screening recommendations in women age 40–49. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the specific impact of mammographic screening patterns on the surgical management of breast cancer in women aged 40–49.

Methods

The study is a population-based retrospective review of the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System of women aged 40–49 with a diagnosis of breast cancer. Tumor stage and related characteristics at the time of diagnosis, as well as the type of surgical intervention performed were recorded for women presenting with screen-detected versus non-screen-detected breast cancer.

Results

Screen-detected breast cancers in women aged 40–49 were associated with a greater incidence of DCIS, smaller invasive tumor size, fewer cases of positive nodes, and higher rates of breast conservation compared to non-screened women presenting with symptomatic disease.

Conclusions

Mammographic screening is associated with less aggressive surgical treatment of breast cancer including higher rates of breast conservation. The observed changes in surgical management should factor into individual decision-making regarding screening mammography. J. Surg. Oncol. 2016;113:496–500. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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