Professor Boyages rejects claim physical exams reduce mortality on par with mammograms

However, the research has been criticised by one of the pioneers of breast cancer screening in Australia, Professor John Boyages, who said the results do not support abandoning Australia’s recommended bi-annual mammography program for women aged 40 and older.

In the study, 89,835 women aged 40–59 years were randomly assigned to two groups: the first received annual mammograms and physical breast examinations between 1980–85. 

In the control group, women aged 50–59 received annual physical examinations, while the women aged 40–49 received a single examination followed by usual care in the community.

During the five year screening period, 666 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed in the mammography arm and 524 in the control. 

Of these, 180 women in the mammography arm and 171 in the control arm died of breast cancer during the 25 year follow-up period. 

During the entire study period,