Breast Cancer Screening Essay

1805 words - 8 pages

An analysis of the effectiveness of population-based screening for breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death due to cancer in women, with statistics from the USA showing that one in eight women will develop the disease.1 Studies in the UK show that 90% of women diagnosed in the early stages survive the disease, while this figure is only 15% if diagnosed at a later stage illustrating the importance of an effective screening programme to reduce mortality.2 In the following essay I will review various randomised control studies and cohort studies in order to establish how nationwide screening programmes best reduce mortality, looking at the targeted sector of the population ...view middle of the document...

It should also be stated that screening programmes only reduce mortality rates if followed up by treatment of any identified problems. Treatment could be in the form of surgery to remove tumours before they metastisize or by chemotherapy if metastasis is at an early stage.3

When analysing the program adopted for breast cancer screening the benefits are always weighed against the harm caused by the procedure. The most prominent of these is overdiagnosis. Overdiagnosis occurs when a mammogram finds “cancers and cases of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) that will never cause symptoms or threaten a woman’s life”4 leading to unnecessary treatment that causes adverse effects to the individual involved such as cancer therapy.4 False- positives are another area of concern when assessing mammograms as this means cancerous tumors will be identified where they do not exist. This issue has further implications as unnecessary biopsies are done on patients where there are no cancerous tumors present. These issues have been largely resolved by additional testing such as an ultrasound of diagnostic mammogram, though these procedures incur a cost and time element that would otherwise have been avoided.4 An added consequence of false-positives is avoidable anxiety and physical discomfort. Contrary to the harmful effects presented above, another area of concern is false-negatives. False negatives occur in roughly 20% of mammograms, with the result of unidentified cancer developing further or metastasizing.4

While randomised control trials show that screening beginning at 40 versus 50 has an added reduction in mortality there is also data showing that screening at 40 increases the chances of false-positives occurring.5 Furthermore, “extending screening beyond biennial examinations from 50 to 74 to annual screening from ages 40 to 84 results in an additional 15.5% mortality reduction, reducing the 2.3% probability of death further to 1.8%.”5 Therefore in order to maximise the benefits of a mammogram and reduce harmful outcomes such as unnecessary biopsies a balance needs to be found between the two. With the majority of tumours being slow growing it has been established from various studies that biennial screening is the most effective time frame. This is due to the identification of slow growing tumours at an early enough stage for recovery and at the same time ensures a reduced rate of false-positives compared to annual mammograms.5 “In addition, since the proportion of DCIS is highest in younger women, screen detection of DCIS that may not be clinically significant could be considered a further harm.”5 Therefore it is the woman’s prerogative whether the risk of cancer outweighs the possibility of coming into contact with the aforementioned harms.

With the implementation of mammograms as a population based screening program the targeted population must be scrutinised, because although it is common practice for women over 40 to be covered by health...

Other Papers Like Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Essay

1523 words - 7 pages aware is one of the first most important steps that we as humans can take for our own benefit. Early detection tests for breast cancer such as mammograms are highly recommended. This goes for men just as well women, as most men do not believe they can be diagnosed with this disease. The goal of the screening exams is to find cancers before they start to cause symptoms. Screenings are referred to people who do not have any

Mammography Essay

1384 words - 6 pages radiologic breast specialists on a global level by using their digital mammography equipment in countries where mortality rates are not decreasing by the standard 15% with the introduction of screening mammography (Jorgensen, et al, 2010). Denmark is a textbook example, with high breast cancer mortality rates which haven’t been significantly reduced with the introduction of screening mammography. There are several key reasons the mortality rate in

Cervical Cancer

615 words - 3 pages history of abnormal Pap smears should be screened more often. Effective screening tests are only available for 4 kinds of cancer: colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer. (There is ongoing controversy about whether prostate cancer screening is effective at all). Right now, other types of cancers do not have effective screening tests. All of our Health Risk Profiles tell you when you are most likely to benefit from a screening test; be sure to talk with your doctor for more information. http://wpomain.convergencehealth.com/Default.aspx?tabid=2811 http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervicalcancer/detailedguide/cervical-cancer-risk-factors

Brest Cancer- a Comprehensive Review

4409 words - 18 pages cancer. Conversely, triple negative cancer (ie no positive receptors) is now thought to indicate a poor prognosis. • DNA microarrays have compared normal cells to breast cancer cells and found differences in hundreds of genes, but the significance of most of those differences is unknown. Several screening tests are commercially marketed, but the evidence for their value is limited. The only test supported by Level II evidence is Oncotype DX

Prevention Of Breast Cancer

2751 words - 12 pages the risk of developing breast cancer and the occurrence of false positive results. From 1986 to 2005 a study was conducted on women ages 40 to 49 years by the Department of Radiation Sciences (Hellquist, Duffy, Björneld, Abdsaleh, Bordás, Tabár, Viták & Zackrisson, 2011). 803 died from breast cancer in the study group and 1238 died in the control group . It was concluded that in women ages 40 to 49 mammogram screening was efficient for reducing

Alternative Treatment Paper

1041 words - 5 pages deaths, which makes it second leading cause of death in the United States” (Copstead & Banasik, 2010, p.116). Screening and Comparison There are screening for example breast, prostrate, or cervical and readily available sources to prevent and treat the disease. Cervical screening and follow up can prevent the risk of developing cancer and can detect abnormal cell growth especially for African American women when “compared with white

Prostate of the Union

1106 words - 5 pages Alexander King Dr. Akl English 1020-017 24 Nov. 2014 Prostate and Prejudice Introduction A man that has been treated for prostate cancer can never, on his own, have an erection hard enough to sexually satisfy either himself or his sexual partner. Prostate cancer is as common in men as breast cancer is in women, yet prostate cancer receives little compare to the massive amounts of money and publicity that breast cancer receives every year

Genetic Screening

1441 words - 6 pages Breast Cancer… Is Genetic Screening the Answer? By: Wendy Wilburn Biology 2020 – Biology II Dr. Robinson April 25, 2015 The Great Genetic Screening Debate ABSTRACT Within the past thirty years, researchers have found strong evidence that our DNA or genetic material may be a predictive factor for disease probability. This has lead to the development of genetic testing after the isolation of certain candidate genes

What Is Inflamatory Breast Cancer

977 words - 4 pages What is Inflammatory Breast Cancer? Jasmin Hernandez Olympic College Author Note This paper was prepared for English 99, 3325 taught by Professor Richardson Abstract Inflammatory breast cancer is rare and spreads aggressively. The 5 year cancer survival rate after doing chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy is still really short of between 24 and 49 percent survival rate. For Stage 4, the 5 year survival rate is only 11 percent

Abortion And Cancer

918 words - 4 pages abortion is the most frequently performed elective surgery, affecting 1.5 million American women a year.Already breast cancer is the most common cause of death among middle-aged women. Not surprisingly, its rising incidence has prompted legislation in more than a dozen states, mostly to encourage screening, to require that patients be informed of treatment alternatives, or to compel insurance companies to cover particular procedures. Requiring

Coldwater Cancer Rates

2635 words - 11 pages which is significant as obesity can increase the risk of breast, colorectal or pancreatic cancer (SCHSS, 2010, Engelking & Cady, 2010). Health Canada (2009) found that only 10% of Aboriginals reported consistent use of a condom during sexual intercourse which is a concern as the human papillomavirus known for causing cervical cancer is contracted during unprotected sex (Health Canada, 2009). COLDWATER CANCER RATES Assessing Health Care 6

Related Essays

Breast Disease Essay

1545 words - 7 pages radiation exposure. Once taken, the images can be used to find the location and the extent of the disease. According to the “National Cancer Institute” (2010) Results from randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years

Breast Cancer In African American Women

1460 words - 6 pages not to do a breast cancer screening. The risk of breast cancer has risen for women who are chronically ill, overweight, drink excessively, smoke tobacco, or have a STDs, and have a genetic history of cancer need to do the screening. According to the National Cancer Coalition (2011), “Social inequities and lack of access to insurance or health care can influence the risk of developing cancer by creating additional barriers to cancer screening

Breast Cancer Essay

571 words - 3 pages cancer. All women whom are in the risk group factors should have a screening test. Having monthly breast self-exams are also recommended in order for one to monitor any changes in their breast. Exercising daily, eating vegetables, fresh fruits, eating more fish, and cutting your calories are all ways to prevent breast cancer. Sincerely, Ora Casteel

Breast Cancer Essay

1458 words - 6 pages ). This controlled trial showed a 30% significant decrease in mortality from breast cancer due to stage shifting from stage III or IV to stage II. The study indicated that diagnosis and treatment in breast cancers earliest phases could prevent death, thus proving that breast cancer is not a systemic disease at its conception but may become systemic if not arrested by early detection and screening. Breast cancer comes from a genetic change in one