Articles » Breast Cancer Screening in Younger Women
Breast Cancer Screening in Younger Women
1/3 of all breast cancers occur in women under 50.
Is the best way to detect breast cancer early.
Screening in women under 50 has not been encouraged in NZ, probably because health authorities have not considered that there is adequate evidence that it is of benefit (although many other countries, including Australia, are screening these women).
Data from the large international mammography trials obtained since 1997 shows a mortality reduction in younger women (from 18% in some trials up to 46% in the Gothenberg study).
Sensitivity and intervention rates of mammography in these women are not significantly altered.
Women 40 - 49 years should be offered annual screening.
The recommended screening interval in women aged 40 to 49 is shorter compared with the two yearly interval in women over 50 because of faster tumour growth rates and more aggressive tumour biology.
These women and their families have more to lose!
The "At Risk" Group
Women with an increased risk of breast cancer of between 2 and 25 times.
Canterbury Breastcare has HFA funding to screen the "at risk" group free of charge.
On your referral request:
"At Risk" Screening
'Eligible for HFA Funding" and
Those eligible are asymptomatic women age 40 - 74 years who have:
had previous breast cancer; or
breast histology with pathology such as atypical hyperplasia, papillomatosis, etc; or
a significant family history, ie, a mother or sister with pre-menopausal breast cancer or post-menopausal bilateral breast cancer; or
no symptoms, are aged less than 40 and are within 5 years of the age at which a first degree relative was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Not included are women with a paternal history of breast cancer, breast cancer in a very young relative or with some syndromes that have an increased risk of breast cancer. It is usually possible to make special arrangements for these women following discussion with an appropriate cancer specialist.