Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening refers to the medical screening of asymptomatic, apparently healthy women for breast cancer in an attempt to achieve an earlier diagnosis. The assumption is that early detection will improve outcomes. A number of screening test have been employed including: clinical and self breast exams, mammography, genetic screening, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging.

A clinical or self breast exam involves feeling the breast for lumps or other abnormalities. Evidence however does not support its use in women with a typical risk for breast cancer. The use of mammography in universal screening for breast cancer is controversial. Clinical trials have found a relative reduction in breast cancer mortality of 10% (2.4 deaths per 100,000 person-years) attributable to screening but this difference was non significant. The Cochrane Collaboration review found a 15% reduction in mortality, but the absolute reduction in breast cancer mortality was 0.05%, and due to harm from false positive screening and increased mortality from treatment complications, they could not conclude whether screening did more harm than good. The Nordic Cochrane Collection (2012) reviews updated research to state that advances in diagnosis and treatment make mammography screening less effective today. They state screening is “no longer effective.” They conclude that “it therefore no longer seems reasonable to attend” for breast cancer screening at any age, and warn of misleading information on the internet.

Many national organizations recommend it for most older women. If screening mammography (as opposed to diagnostic mammography) is chosen for women at normal risk for breast cancer, it should only be done every two years in women between the ages of 50 and 74. Several tools are available to help target breast cancer screening to older women with longer life expectancies. Similar imaging studies can be performed with magnetic resonance imaging.

Earlier, more aggressive, and more frequent screening is recommended for women at particularly high risk of developing breast cancer, such as those with a confirmed BRCA mutation, those who have previously had breast cancer, and those with a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Abnormal findings on screening are further investigated by surgically removing a piece of the suspicious lumps (biopsy) to examine them under the microscope. Ultrasound may be used to guide the biopsy needle during the procedure. Magnetic resonance imaging is used to guide treatment, but is not an established screening method for healthy women.

Read more about Breast Cancer ScreeningBreast Exam, Mammography, Molecular Breast Imaging, Ultrasonography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, BRCA Testing

Other articles related to "breast cancer screening, cancers, cancer, breast cancer, screening, breast":

Breast Cancer Screening - BRCA Testing
... Genetic testing does not detect cancers, but may reveal a propensity to develop cancer ... Women who are known to have a higher risk of developing breast cancer usually undertake more aggressive screening programs ...
Fred Thompson - Personal Life - Cancer
... Thompson has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer ... Thompson's cancer, though currently incurable, is reportedly indolent, the lowest of three grades of NHL ... The cancer is nodal marginal zone lymphoma, a rare form of NHL, that accounts for only one to three percent of all cases ...
Testicular Cancer
... Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system ... the United States, between 7,500 and 8,000 diagnoses of testicular cancer are made each year ... Over his lifetime, a man's risk of testicular cancer is roughly 1 in 250 (0.4%) ...
Cancer - In Pregnancy
... Because cancer is largely a disease of older adults, it is not common in pregnant women ... Cancer affects approximately 1 in 1,000 pregnant women ... The most common cancers found during pregnancy are the same as the most common cancers found in non-pregnant women during childbearing ages breast cancer, cervical cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma ...
Michael Baum - Criticisms of Breast Cancer Screening
... Professor Baum is also critical of the breast cancer screening program and believes women are not receiving accurate and complete information on the ... means most women are not giving informed consent for breast cancer screening ... In an article entitled "What are the drawbacks of breast screening?" published in 2011, Michael Baum criticised the NHS Breast Screening Programme Whatever the ...

Famous quotes containing the words breast and/or cancer:

    If we could know
    Which of us, darling, would be the first to go,
    Who would be first to breast the swelling tide
    And step alone upon the other side—
    If we could know!
    Julia Harris May (1833–1912)

    Ever since I was a kid my folks fed me bigotry for breakfast and ignorance for supper. Never, not once did they ever make me feel proud of where I was born. That’s it. That was a cancer they put in me. No knowledge of my country. No pride. Just a hymn of hate.
    Samuel Fuller (b. 1911)