BreastScreen SA failed to detect 72 cancers

The independent review, released today, was conducted by Associate Professor Warwick Lee, BreastScreen NSW’s state radiologist, after BreastScreen SA found that 95 fewer cancers than expected were identified between 6 September 2010 and 30 June 2012.

Thirteen radiologists reviewed 53,104 sets of digital screening mammograms and recalled 540 women for screening.

The review found 72 cancers were potentially detectable at the time of initial screening and 56 of these were found in the re-reading process. 

The remaining 16 were interval cancers diagnosed outside the screening program.

The majority of the women who were found to have breast cancer were diagnosed in the early stages of disease.

The review found that lower than ideal recall rates were the major cause of reduced cancer detection rates, with reading practices and image quality also contributing.