Summary: In previous literature, there is debate about the most favorable age to begin mammography screeningin woman with an average risk of breast cancer. This study hypothesizes thatthere will be a reduction in mortality from breast cancer with annualmammography screening in woman aged 40-49 compared to beginning screening in womenover the age of 50. Breast cancer screening can potentially cause overdiagnosisof breast cancer, therefore the benefits of screening at a younger age mustoutweigh the risks. The primary outcomes measured were mortality and incidence frombreast cancer.
There was a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancermortality in the intervention group compared to the control group in the first10 years. This reduction in mortality from breast cancer suggests thatscreening in the trial resulted in minor occurrence, if any of overdiagnosis. Critical analysis: This study was published July 21,2015 but was corrected and republished on August 31, 2015 in the lancet,therefore it seems to be a fairly recent study published in a highly valued andpeer-reviewed journal.
There was a strong rationale for conducting the study toensure proper advisement for the most advantageous age to begin mammographyscreening. Randomization was used to allocate subjects to trial groups toensure there were no biases. Additionally, this study only included breast cancer deaths in woman withbreast cancer diagnosed during the intervention phase to prevent this factorfrom affecting the results. However,the researchers did not collect the treatment data for the women diagnosed withbreast cancer which could potentially influence the results of the study. Thisarticle also states that there is better screening sensitivity that existstoday compared to when the study was conducted so further research needs to beconducted on the long-term effects and overdiagnosis of this new screeningprocess. The results from this study suggests that mammography screening helpeddetect breast cancer sooner and prolonged the life of subjects diagnosed withbreast cancer; therefore, the benefits seem to outweigh the risks.