Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Screening does not shift breast cancer to earlier stages

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
Aarhus University
Summary:
New research suggests that screening for breast cancer results in increased diagnoses of early stage cancer -- but without a similarly sized decrease in the more serious and aggressive cases. "The idea of screening is that the cancer should be detected as early as possible so that the woman can be treated and cured. So when you introduce screening women should be transferred from having cancer in advanced stages to having cancer in an early stage. That is, if the screening works according to plan," says the lead author.

Screening for breast cancer appeared to have a very limited effect on the occurrence of serious and aggressive cancer cases. On the other hand, it appeared to detect many more early cancer cases, cases which would otherwise never have developed -- but which are treated due to screening.

This is the conclusion of a study from Aarhus University, Denmark, that has just been published in the European Journal of Public Health based on data from all women over the age of 20 in Norway (approx. 1.8 million in 2010).

Looks at the various stages of cancer

The new element is that the researchers look at the severity of the diagnosis, which is divided into four stages: From the very early stages of cancer which is completely local up to the very serious cases where the cancer has already spread.

The researchers examined the stage distribution of breast cancer diagnosed before the introduction of screening, during the introduction and after the scheme was fully implemented.

"The idea of screening is that the cancer should be detected as early as possible so that the woman can be treated and cured. So when you introduce screening women should be, as it were, transferred from having cancer in advanced stages to having cancer in an early stage. That is, if the screening works according to plan," says Associate Professor, PhD Henrik Støvring, Aarhus University, who is the key researcher behind the project together with BSc Mette Lise Lousdal.

rimarily discovers indolent cancer

The researchers examined how the distribution of the four stages of cancer developed from 1987 to 2010: "We can see that since screening was introduced in Norway, the rate of discovery of breast cancer in the early stage among women aged 50-69 has almost doubled -- while there has been virtually no change in the number of advanced stages. This suggests that screening primarily detects more cases of indolent cancer, which if there had been no screening, the woman would have died with -- and not died of," says Henrik Støvring.

He adds that the screening may still have had a beneficial effect on mortality -- this aspect was not examined by the study.

"But if that was the case then there should indeed be an increase of the early stages, but there ought to be an almost equally sized decline in the late stages as well. And this we did not find," he says.

The next step in the research project will be to analyze similar figures from Denmark.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Aarhus University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mette L. Lousdal, Ivar S. Kristiansen, Bjørn Møller, and Henrik Støvring. Trends in breast cancer stage distribution before, during and after introduction of a screening programme in Norway. European Journal of Public Health, March 2014 DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/cku015

Cite This Page:

Aarhus University. "Screening does not shift breast cancer to earlier stages." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113412.htm>.
Aarhus University. (2014, March 4). Screening does not shift breast cancer to earlier stages. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113412.htm
Aarhus University. "Screening does not shift breast cancer to earlier stages." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304113412.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins