A team led by Abid Irshad of the Medical University of South Carolina analyzed the effectiveness of screening mammography in women between the ages of 40 and 49, comparing it with screening in those 50 to 59 and 60 to 69. The study included 41,028 screening mammography exams, and Irshad's team assessed recall rate, the number of biopsies performed, and the number of cancers detected.
Among all mammograms included in the study, 326 cancers were identified. The overall recall rate was 12.7% and the biopsy rate was 2.8%.
Breaking the data down by age group revealed the following:
- In women 40 to 49, 52 cancers were identified on 8,913 mammograms, with a recall rate of 17% and a biopsy rate of 3.4%.
- In women 50 to 59, 103 cancers were identified on 13,288 mammograms, with a recall rate of 12.5% and a biopsy rate of 2.7%.
- In women 60 to 69, 89 cancers were identified on 12,119 mammograms, with a recall rate of 10.2% and a biopsy rate of 2.4%.
By adding the women ages 40 to 49 to the screening population of those 50 and older, the overall callback rate increased 1.5%, the biopsy rate increased 0.1%, and 19.3% more cancers were detected, according to Irshad and colleagues.
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