Aunt Minnie (5/7, Yee) reports that “regular breast cancer screening, particularly in younger women, translates to less-aggressive treatment when disease is discovered,” according to research presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Elisa Port of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City said, “Women who have regular screening mammograms [i.e., within 24 months] present with smaller tumors and are less likely to be treated with mastectomy, chemotherapy, and axillary node dissection than those who do not.”
MedPage Today (5/3, Jenkins) reports that research indicates “circulating tumor cell (CTC) status may be an important clinical marker for predicting the benefit of radiotherapy (RT) in patients with early-stage breast cancer.” After analyzing “more than 3,000 patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS) from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and phase III SUCCESS trial,” investigators found “that RT was associated with longer overall survival in those with at least one CTC.” The link “was not seen among patients without CTCs.” The findings were published in JAMA Oncology.
HealthDay (5/3, Gordon) reports that while “much of the debate over when to start having mammograms has focused on lives saved...research suggests that early screening might also translate into smaller tumors and less aggressive breast cancer treatments.” The findings were to be presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons meeting.
The Los Angeles Times (5/3, Kaplan) reports on research into identifying women who may be susceptible to fast-developing tumors that turn up in the “interval between regular screenings.” After reviewing the cases of 306,028 women who got mammograms between 2011 and 2014, the researchers found “no significant association between breast density and the risk of a poor prognosis,” nor with family history, however, “women in their 40s were 3.5 times more likely to get this bad news than women in their 70s or 80s.” Their findings were published in JAMA Oncology.
The AP (5/2) reports that yesterday, Jeremy Hunt, “Britain’s health minister, apologized...for what he called a ‘serious failure’ that resulted in hundreds of thousands of women in England not being invited to a screening test for breast cancer.” He “said...in Parliament that the mistake appeared to be the result of a ‘computer algorithm failure’ dating back to 2009.”
The Washington Post (5/2, Erickson) reports, “Hunt told lawmakers that all of the women who should have received a screening will get a letter by the end of May, urging them to come in for an appointment.”
CNN (5/2, Senthilingam) reports, “Early indications suggested that between 135 and 270 women had their lives shortened as a result of the error, Hunt said.” Also covering the story are BBC News Online (UK) (5/2), U.S. News & World Report (5/2, Lardieri), Reuters (5/2, Shirbon), the Telegraph (UK) (5/2, Donnelly, McCann), and The Guardian (UK) (5/2, Elgot).