Drugs, not screening, behind fall in breast cancer deaths

The fall in death rates from breast cancer over the past 30 years has more to do with better treatments than screening, a US study concludes.

The country’s breast cancer screening program, introduced in the 1980s, has seen an increase in the detection of small tumours.

Detection rates rose from 82 per 100,000 women in the late-1970s to 244 per 100,000 in the early 2000s.

Screening probably prevented the development of large and potentially fatal tumours in about 30 per 100,000