Beneficial effect of consecutive screening mammography examinations on mortality from breast cancer: A prospective study

Stephen W. Duffy*, László Tabár, Amy Ming Fang Yen, Peter B. Dean, Robert A. Smith, Håkan Jonsson, Sven Törnberg, Sherry Yueh Hsia Chiu, Sam Li Sheng Chen, Grace Hsiao Hsuan Jen, May Mei Sheng Ku, Chen Yang Hsu, Johan Ahlgren, Roberta Maroni, Lars Holmberg, Tony Hsiu Hsi Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background: Previously, the risk of death from breast cancer was analyzed for women participating versus those not participating in the last screening examination before breast cancer diagnosis. Consecutive attendance patterns may further refine estimates. Purpose: To estimate the effect of participation in successive mammographic screening examinations on breast cancer mortality. Materials and Methods: Participation data for Swedish women eligible for screening mammography in nine counties from 1992 to 2016 were linked with data from registries and regional cancer centers for breast cancer diagnosis, cause, and date of death (Uppsala University ethics committee registration number: 2017/147). Incidence-based breast cancer mortality was calculated by whether the women had participated in the most recent screening examination prior to diagnosis only (intermittent participants), the penultimate screening examination only (lapsed participants), both examinations (serial participants), or neither examination (serial nonparticipants). Rates were analyzed with Poisson regression. We also analyzed incidence of breast cancers proving fatal within 10 years. Results: Data were available for a total average population of 549 091 women (average age, 58.9 years 6 6.7 [standard deviation]). The numbers of participants in the four groups were as follows: serial participants, 392 135; intermittent participants, 41 746; lapsed participants, 30 945; and serial nonparticipants, 84 265. Serial participants had a 49% lower risk of breast cancer mortality (relative risk [RR], 0.51; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.55; P ,.001) and a 50% lower risk of death from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis (RR, 0.50; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.55; P ,.001) than serial nonparticipants. Lapsed and intermittent participants had a smaller reduction. Serial participants had significantly lower risk of both outcomes than lapsed or intermittent participants. Analyses correcting for potential biases made little difference to the results. Conclusion: Women participating in the last two breast cancer screening examinations prior to breast cancer diagnosis had the largest reduction in breast cancer death. Missing either one of the last two examinations conferred a significantly higher risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 06 2021
Externally publishedYes

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