Breast Cancer Advocacy Leader Stresses Importance of Screening Over Long-Term
DALLAS – June 28, 2011 – In response to a new study that found that mammography reduces breast cancer deaths over the long-term by at least 30 percent, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® issued the following statement today from founder and CEO Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker:
“Once again researchers have confirmed what Susan G. Komen has been saying for years – mammography saves lives and early detection of breast cancer is key to surviving the disease. We know that when breast cancer is discovered early while it is still confined to the breast, 98 percent of patients survive for at least five years. If it is not discovered until it has spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate falls to 23 percent. If we don’t screen for breast cancer, we can’t fight it.
“The study also highlighted another critical fact that we’ve been stressing for many years now—it’s not enough to get a single mammogram. Screening is most effective over the long term, where results can be compared over time to determine any changes that could be an indication of cancer.
“It is imperative that women know their risk of breast cancer, learn about their family medical history, know their bodies and what is normal for them. That also means talking to their doctor and establishing a regular screening regimen that can help detect any important changes, so that cancer can be detected at its earliest, most treatable stage. As this study confirms, that screening could save your life.”
About the research: The study was conducted in Sweden by an international group of researchers led by experts from Queen Mary University in London and the American Cancer Society. It included more than 130,000 women with no history of breast cancer in two counties in Sweden over a 30-year period – the longest study yet – and found that mammography reduced breast cancer deaths over the long-term by at least 30 percent. It also found that the ratio of women screened per life saved is actually about half as much as previously thought – 414 to 519 screenings per life saved, compared to the previous 1,000 to 1,500 per life saved.