Rates of Radiation-Induced Breast Cancer Reviewed

Women with large breasts projected to have increased risk of radiation-induced breast cancer
Women with large breasts projected to have increased risk of radiation-induced breast cancer

HealthDay News — There is variability in radiation-induced breast cancer incidence and mortality associated with digital mammography screening, according to a study published online January 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Using two simulation-modeling approaches, Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, from the University of California in Davis, and colleagues estimated the distributions of radiation-induced breast cancer incidence and mortality from digital mammography screening among women. Interventions included annual or biennial digital mammography screening starting at age 40, 45, or 50 years.

The researchers found that for women aged 40 to 74 years, annual screening was projected to induce 125 breast cancer cases/100,000 women, leading to 16 deaths, relative to 968 breast cancer deaths that could be averted by screening-linked early detection. The researchers projected that women exposed at the 95th percentile would develop 246 cases of radiation-induced breast cancer, with 32 deaths/100 000 women screened. The 8% of the population with large breasts who required extra views for complete examination were projected to have increased risk of radiation-induced breast cancer (266 cancer cases and 35 deaths/100 000 women) compared with other women (113 cancer cases and 15 deaths/100 000 women). The risk of radiation-induced cancer was reduced five-fold with biennial screening starting at age 50 years.

"Radiation-induced breast cancer incidence and mortality from digital mammography screening are affected by dose variability from screening, resultant diagnostic work-up, initiation age, and screening frequency," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to GE Healthcare.

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