Screening mammography is linked to a reduction in breast cancer mortality, a study shows

12. 06. 2018 | Journal of Medical Screening

Yet another study has confirmed that the introduction of screening mammography is linked to a subsequent decline in breast cancer mortality. New findings have just been published in the Journal of Medical Screening [1].

Screening mammography is linked to a reduction in breast cancer mortality, a study shows

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A team of researchers from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the the University of New South Wales in Sydney (Australia) and BreastScreen Aotearoa, Wellington (New Zealand) investigated trends in breast cancer mortality in New Zealand women in order to either corroborate or negate a causal association with service screening mammography.

Cumulated mortality rates from breast cancer deaths individually linked to incident cases diagnosed before and after screening commencement were compared, in women aged 50-64 (from 2001) and aged 45-49 and 65-69 (from 2006). Trends and differences in aggregate invasive breast cancer mortality (1975-2013) were assessed in relation to introduction of mammography screening targeting women aged 50-64 and 45-69.

It was found that incidence-based cumulated breast cancer mortality before and after the introduction of screening was reduced by 15% for women aged 45-69 and by 17% for those aged 50-64. Aggregate mortality declined by 34% (2005-13 compared with 1992-98) in the age group 50-64, by 28% among women aged 45-49 and by 25% among women aged 65-74.

The authors concluded that breast cancer mortality declines occurring since the advent of screening mammography in New Zealand are consistent with other incidence-based and aggregate studies of screening mammography in populations, individual-based cohort studies and randomised controlled trials.


  1. Taylor R, Gregory M, Sexton K, Wharton J, Sharma N, Amoyal G, Morrell S. Breast cancer mortality and screening mammography in New Zealand: Incidence-based and aggregate analyses. Journal of Medical Screening 2018. doi: 10.1177/0969141318776039

Keywords: breast cancer mortality, screening mammography, New Zealand