Breast screening not linked to lower mortality

RECENT reductions in breast cancer mortality are likely due to improved medical management rather than screening programs, experts in preventive health say after an international study.

Researchers from France, the UK and Norway investigated the impact of mammography programs by comparing trends in breast cancer mortality among pairs of similar countries where one introduced mammographic screening 10–15 years before the other one.

A reduction in breast cancer mortality would be expected to manifest sooner in countries with earlier screening programs, but this was not borne out by the study, they said.

The greatest reductions in mortality were in women aged 40–49 years, regardless of the availability of screening.

“Our study adds further population data to the evidence of studies that have used various designs and found that mammographic screening by itself has little detectable impact on mortality due to breast