JOURNAL CLUB: Neglecting to Screen Women Between 40 and 49 Years Old With Mammography: What Is the Impact on Treatment Morbidity and Potential Risk Reduction?AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2014 Feb;202(2):282-8
Authors: Plecha D, Salem N, Kremer M, Pham R, Downs-Holmes C, Sattar A, Lyons J
OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to determine whether there were significant differences with respect to treatment recommendations, stage at diagnosis, and identification of high-risk lesions for women 40-49 years old undergoing screening mammography (screened) compared to women with a symptom needing a diagnostic evaluation (nonscreened). MATERIALS AND METHODS. We reviewed the pathology results of all imaging-guided biopsies performed at the three breast center locations of University Hospitals Case Medical Center from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2011. In patients diagnosed with a high-risk lesion or breast cancer, the reason for presentation, pathology, tumor size, stage, receptor characteristics, and treatment were recorded. The chi-square test was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS. Of 230 primary breast cancers, 149 were in the screened group and 81 were considered nonscreened. Nonscreened patients were more likely to undergo chemotherapy (p = 0.042). Eighty-one percent of the high-risk lesions were diagnosed in the screened patients. Screened patients with cancer were significantly more likely to receive a diagnosis at earlier stages (p = 0.001), to have negative axillary lymph nodes (p = 0.005), and to have smaller tumors (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION. In addition to the benefits of receiving a diagnosis at earlier stages, with smaller tumors and node negativity, patients with breast cancer undergoing screening mammography aged 40-49 years are less likely to require chemotherapy and its associated morbidities. The majority of high-risk lesions were diagnosed in the screened group, which may lead to the benefit of chemoprevention, lowering their risk of subsequent breast cancer, or screening with MRI, which may diagnose future mammographically occult malignancies.