Newswise — A landmark mammography study has found that women who receive annual breast cancer screenings will have a lower mortality rate and will benefit more from therapy upon diagnosis of breast cancer. The lead investigator on this study was László Tabár, MD. He and his team analyzed data from the Swedish Cancer Registry from over 52,000 women who either did or did not participate in mammography screening between 1977 to 2015; nearly 40 years. (They also used comparison data from pre-screening years of 1958 to 1976.)

Researchers calculated overall annual incidences of breast cancer, breast cancer incidences resulting in mortality after 10 years and incidences resulting in mortality within 11-20 years. Overall, they concluded that “women who chose to participate in an organized breast cancer screening program” had a 60 percent lower mortality risk within 10 years of diagnosis and a 47 percent lower mortality risk within 20 years of diagnosis. The findings of this study were published in November 2018 in Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society.

“Such findings give more reasons why the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging supports annual mammography screening starting at age 40 to save more lives,” says Bonnie Joe, MD, PhD, chief of Breast Imaging. “A combination of both screening and therapy are essential. Earlier screening leads to more effective therapy.”