Washington D.C. - Breast screening is linked to lower risk of breast cancer death, according to a study.
The research, led by Queen Mary University of London, has been published in the journal Cancer.
The research, using data from Sweden, finds that women who chose to participate in an organised breast cancer screening programme had a 60 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer within 10 years after diagnosis, and a 47 per cent lower risk of dying from breast cancer within 20 years after diagnosis.
The authors said that this benefit occurs because screening detects cancers at an earlier stage, meaning that they respond much better to treatment.
Senior author Professor Stephen Duffy said: "Recent improvements in treatments have led to reduced deaths from breast cancer. However, these new results demonstrate the vital role that screening also has to play, giving women a much greater benefit from modern treatments. We need to ensure that participation in breast screening programmes improves, especially in socio-economically deprived areas."
The study involved 52,438 women aged 40 to 69 years in the county of Dalarna, Sweden, during 39 years of the screening era (1977-2015). All patients received stage-specific treatment according to the latest national guidelines, irrespective of the mode of detection.
The investigators, led by Laszlo Tabar of Falun Central Hospital in Sweden, used a new method to improve the evaluation of the impact of organised mammography screening on death from breast cancer, by calculating the annual incidence of breast cancers causing death within 10 years and within 20 years after breast cancer diagnosis.