Risk factors can guide screening decisions for younger women

Share this article:
Updated, Subgroup Analyses of BOLERO-2 Confirm Efficacy of Everolimus plus Exemestane in Postmenopau
Updated, Subgroup Analyses of BOLERO-2 Confirm Efficacy of Everolimus plus Exemestane in Postmenopau

Younger women at increased risk for breast cancer may benefit from mammography screening performed once every 2 years beginning at age 40 years, according to two studies funded by the National Cancer Institute. 


In one project, data synthesized from 66 published studies showed that having extremely dense breasts on mammography or first-degree relatives with breast cancer doubled the risk of breast cancer for a woman aged 40 to 49 years. Risk was even higher among women with two or more first-degree relatives with breast cancer or a first-degree relative with a diagnosis before age 40 years.


Having a prior benign breast biopsy result, second-degree relatives with breast-cancer, or heterogeneously dense breasts was associated with a 1.5-fold to 2-fold increased risk. Women who currently used oral contraceptives, who had never given birth, or who were at least 30 years old at first birth had an increased risk of 1.0-fold to 1.5-fold. 


Although most women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors, information about risk may be particularly useful when making decisions about screening women in their 40s, noted the investigators (Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012;156[9]:
635-648). 


The second study, published along with the first (pp. 609-617) and conducted by several authors of the first study, revealed that for women aged 40 to 49 years with a 2.0-fold increased risk for breast cancer, the harm-benefit ratio of biennial screening with film mammography was similar to that of biennial screening of average-risk women aged 50 to 74 years. This suggests that for that group of younger women, biennial screening at age 40 years has more benefits than harms. ONA

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

April Contest: Win a Pebble Watch

Start the contest today

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in In the News

Navigator Notes: Distress screening and support

Navigator Notes: Distress screening and support

As patients and oncology care teams strive to keep up with complex treatment plans, symptoms of distress in the patient may be missed. Distress screening tools can help nurse navigators ...

Out-of-pocket costs influence adherence to treatment

Out-of-pocket costs influence adherence to treatment

Many patients skip doses or stop taking medication entirely when their share of the costs becomes too high.

Cancer deaths continue to decline

Cancer deaths continue to decline

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has published its latest annual report on cancer incidence and mortality, and the news is good.