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Biennial Breast Screening Associated with Advanced Cancers

Women who are screened for breast cancer every two years have more advanced cancers -- as well as more cancers between screening rounds -- than those who are screened annually, according to a study to be presented next week at RSNA 2019 in Chicago. Those treated biennially also generally require more aggressive treatment.

Researchers scoured a breast imaging database at a U.S. National Cancer Institute designated cancer center and found breast cancer in more than 200 women. Most women underwent annual screening, while a smaller proportion screened biennially. The biennial group fared worse in terms of later-stage cancers, interval cancers, larger tumor sizes, and more aggressive treatment.

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Recent Decrease in Deaths Attributable to Breast Cancer in the United States

The latest U.S. estimates indicate that since 1989, hundreds of thousands of women's lives have been saved by mammography and improvements in breast cancer treatment. In a study published by Hendrick et al in Cancer, findings point to progress made in the early detection and management of breast cancer.

Screening mammography for the detection of breast cancer became widely available in the mid-1980s, and various effective therapies have been developed since that time. To estimate the number of breast cancer deaths averted since 1989 due to the collective effects of both screening mammography and improved treatment, R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Jay Baker, MD, of Duke University Medical Center; and Mark Helvie, MD, of the University of Michigan Health System, analyzed breast cancer mortality data and female population data for U.S. women aged 40 to 84 years over the past 3 decades.

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Europe bans Allergan implants linked to rare cancer

Breast implants made by Allergan that have been linked to an uncommon form of cancer are being taken off the market in Europe, The New York Times reports French authorities announced. The implants, which have a textured or slightly roughened surface, rather than a smooth covering, cannot be manufactured or sold in Europe for the time being, and the ones kept on hand at health centres are being recalled.

According to the report, France’s National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products said it had not “identified any immediate risk for the health of women carrying the implants concerned,” and it did not mention the unusual cancer. But the products, particularly the textured ones, have been linked to a disease called breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. The lymphoma is not breast cancer, but is a malignancy of the immune system that develops years after the implant surgery, often seven or eight years later. Removing the implant usually gets rid of the disease. But in some cases, the cancer spread and women died.

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