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Breast cancer incidence and mortality in Tyrol/Austria after fifteen years of opportunistic mammography screening

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-86

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To study time trends in breast cancer incidence and mortality, we applied the age-period-cohort model by Poisson regression to the official mortality data covering more than three decades from 1970 to 2006 and to the incidence data ranging from 1988 to 2006. In addition, for incidence data we analysed data on breast cancer staging and compared these with EU guidelines.For the analysis of time trend in breast cancer mortality in age groups 40-79, an age-period-cohort model fits well and shows for years 2002-2006 a statistically significant reduction of 26% (95% CI 13%-36%) in breast cancer mortality as compared to 1992-1996.We see only slight non-significant increases in breast cancer incidence. For the past five years, incidence data show a 10% proportion of in situ cases, and of 50% for cases in stages II+.The opportunistic breast cancer screening programme in Tyrol has only in part exploited the mortality reduction known for organised screening programmes. There seems to be potential for further improvement, and we recommend that an organised screening programme and a detailed screening database be introduced to collect all information needed to analyse the quality indicators suggested by the EU guidelines.Breast cancer (BC) is the leading cause of female cancer death in all industrialised countries (and also worldwide) and the breast is also the leading incident cancer site for females [1]. Therefore, screening methods for BC are of greatest public health importance. Efficiency and efficacy of organised mammography screening programmes have been proven in large randomised trials conducted in Europe and North America. For several years already, organised mammography screening programmes have been recommended in the EU[2]. Austria is one of the European countries where up to 2006 no organised programmes were implemented, but where coverage in spontaneous mammography screening could have been rather high. In a micro-census conducted in Austria in 2006-2007, more tha


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