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.

Related Articles


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 March 4, 2015 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 March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) — The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — ProPublica and NPR&apos;s joint investigation found drastic cuts to workers compensation benefits and employees&apos; access to those benefits. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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