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Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens

Study of Particular Importance to Older Women Shows Long-Term Mammography Saves Lives

Twenty-nine-year study finds 30 percent fewer women in screening died of breast cancer

June 28, 2011 - Results from the longest running breast screening trial show that screening with mammography over a long period of time reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer. The results are new evidence of the long-term benefits of regular breast screening.

The study, by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, shows that the number of deaths that are prevented goes up year after year.


Related Archive Stories


Cancer Death Rates Continue Decline That Began in Early 1930s Says Cancer Society

Cancer Statistics 2011 shows among men the reduction in lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers is nearly 80% of decline; among women, almost 60% of decrease in breast and colorectal - see chances of seniors getting cancer

June 17, 2011

Older Breast Cancer Patients Want Radioactive Implants, No Radiation for E+ Tumors

Women with estrogen negative tumors 91% more likely to die if they did not receive radiation therapy after a lumpectomy, finds second study - June 3, 2011

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"In this study, we've continued to monitor women for nearly three decades and we've found that the longer we look, the more lives are saved,” said senior author, Professor Stephen Duffy.

"Breast cancer can take many years to develop so to tell if screening is effective, we need to see how women fair in the long-term.

The study included over 130,000 women and was the first to show that screening, with mammography only, led to fewer deaths from breast cancer.

It compared a group of women who were invited for regular mammograms with a group who were not. The women have now been followed up for 29 years to see how many died of the disease.

The results showed that 30 per cent fewer women in the screening group died of breast cancer and that this effect persisted year after year.

The study also showed that one cancer death is prevented for approximately every 400 to 500 women in the screening group.

Professor Duffy added: "This suggests that the long-term benefits of screening, in terms of deaths prevented, are more than double those often quoted for short-term follow-up.

"Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain who will and who won't develop breast cancer. But if you take part in screening and you are diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage, the chances that it will be successfully treated are very good."


Swedish Two-County Trial: Impact of Mammographic Screening on Breast Cancer Mortality during 3 Decades, Tabαr et al, Radiology

Links to more archived stories related to breast cancer

Follow-Up to Estrogen Therapy Trial Finds Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer, But...

Younger women achieved better health gains than older women - 'need to counsel women about hormone therapy differently depending on their age' - see video

April 6, 2011

Cancer Rates Continue to Decline Despite Booming Senior Citizen Population

First ever decrease in death from lung cancer for women; men see small increase in prostate cancer rate

April 1, 2011

Senior Women Who Survive Breast Cancer Have a Greater Risk of Falling

Cancer therapies may affect balance, says new study in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

March 10, 2011

CyberKnife Tested for Treatment of Breast Cancer in Clinical Trial at UT Southwestern

CyberKnife focuses multiple beams of radiation with millimeter precision, while leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed; painless treatment

Feb. 15, 2011

Limited Lymph Node Removal for Breast Cancer Patients Does Not Result in Poorer Survival

Important contribution to the surgical management of sentinel lymph node metastasis in breast cancer: says JAMA editorial - watch video

Feb. 9, 2011

Drop in Breast Cancer Rates in Older Women Directly Tied to Reduced Hormone Therapy

Women 50 to 69 had the highest hormone use and the biggest reduction in breast cancer when they stopped; women over 70 had parallel drop in cancer

Nov. 30, 2010

Postmenopausal Women Treated with Hormone Therapy Suffer More Deadly Breast Cancers

JAMA editorial says, ‘the available data dictate caution in the current approach to use of hormone therapy’ - Oct. 20, 2010

Many Male Partners of Breast Cancer Patients Heading to Hospitals with Mood Disorders

Study leader suggests screening of men for depressive symptoms might be important - Sept. 27, 2010

New Studies Show Stress Beneficial to Cancer: Accelerating its Spread, Protecting from Therapy

Stress, even from physical exercise, helps cancer survive chemo and radiation

Sept. 21, 2010

Growing Trend of Mastectomy and Immediate Reconstruction Attracts New Risk Research

Radiation therapy appears to lead to a return to the operating room   - Sept. 20, 2010

Ovary Removal, Mastectomy Lower Cancer Risk for Women with BRCA1/2 Gene Mutations

Removing ovaries lowers risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, all-cause mortality and death from breast or ovarian cancer - Aug. 31, 2010

Thousands in U.S. Died Last Year Because They Were Not Screened for Colon, Breast Cancer

Vast majority are being screened for these deadly cancers but CDC finds millions failing to get tested; senior citizens to see expanded Medicare screening on Jan. 1 - July 7, 2010

Life-Saving Benefits of Radiation Not Used Often After Mastectomy

Breast cancer patients who have mastectomy and need radiation less likely to receive it than those who have lumpectomy

March 30, 2010

Magazines, Newspapers Appear to Put Sugar Coating on Killing Realities of Cancer

Few articles discuss death and dying but half of all patients diagnosed with cancer will not survive

March 22, 2010

Breast Reconstruction - An Option to Rebuild Natural Shape, Symmetry But Rarely Discussed

Many women who have battled breast cancer, faced mastectomy are not aware of breast reconstruction as an option within their continuum of care - March 15, 2010

Study Finds We Are Winning the War on Cancer as Death Rates Decline Steadily Since 1990

For those under age 75, drop in cancer death rate between 1970-2006 resulted in about 2.0 million years of potential life gained - March 9, 2010

Older Women Mysteriously Not Taking Tamoxifen to Prevent Breast Cancer

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer; NCI wanted to know how many women aged 40 to 79 were taking it - Feb. 8, 2010



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