Breast cancer screening of over 70s cuts deaths by over a quarter amazon television

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Routinely screening women over the age of 70 for breast cancer could cut deaths by more than a quarter, according to a new study. amazon television

Umeå University researchers  looked back over 20 years of data from breast amazon television

cancer survivors and over 2,000 instances of death linked to the condition.

They found that the mortality rate for breast cancer was 27 per cent lower for women

aged 70 to 74 who turned up for screenings compared to those invited up to age 69.

The NHS offers routine mammography scans to women until their 71st birthday but

has recently banned anyone over 70 from requesting a scan if they’re worried.

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Mammography is just as efficient for women over the age of 70, according to the

Swedish team, who say screening older women can save lives. amazon television

Umeå University researchers looked back over 20 years of data from breast

cancer survivors and over 2,000 instances of death linked to the condition

Currently, most countries offer screening for women up until the age of 69, but some places –

Sweden included – have chosen to set the upper age limit to 74. amazon television

Lead author, Hakan Jonsson, said their study proves that the Swedish decision to routinely

screen up to the age of 74 is justified and effective.

‘This now needs to be examined through separate research in the UK,’ he said.

‘Screening is an initiative meant to battle a serious health problem, and while women aged 50 to 70 is the focus

of the current NHS recommendations, if we believe screening over-70s is effective,

it would be better for the age limit to be increased.’ amazon television

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Health chiefs have barred women over the age of 70 from requesting breast cancer

screening on the NHS due to backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic (stock photo) Health chiefs have barred women over the age of 70 from requesting breast cancer screening on the NHS due to backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic (stock photo)

Routine breast screenings are offered to women age 50 to 70 on the NHS, and until

last month older women were also encouraged to request regular screenings.

However, last month NHS England told GPs to stop advertising these checkups to

patients over the age of 71 as a way to ease the backlog caused by coronavirus.

This could be putting lives at risk, according to the Swedish study, as regular screening amazon television

is still valuable and effective at cutting rates of cancer, authors found.

The NHS breast cancer screening programme – which prevents up to 1,300 deaths per year was paused in for

four months in March so the health service could deal with excess deaths and illness linked to coronavirus.

Scans for younger women have returned but the government has been unable to put a

date on the return of screening for older women. amazon television

The issue adds to growing concern about the indirect impact of the pandemic on non-Covid health.

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Official predictions suggest nearly 75,000 people will die over the next five years as a result of lockdown, including

many who have missed procedures and hospital appointments due to disruption to the NHS. amazon television

Mammography screening was introduced in the late 1980s , however there has been

uncertainty over the benefits of screening women over the age of 70.

As a result, countries have made different assessments and the recommendations

have varied, but this new, extensive study, suggests screening should continue.

Researchers found that the mortality rate for breast cancer was 27 per cent lower for women aged amazon television

70 to 74 who turned up for screenings compared to those invited up to age 69

In the current study, the breast cancer mortality rate in women in the areas of Sweden that used an upper

age limit of 74 were compared to those regions that used an age limit of 69 between the years 1986 and 2012.

The Cancer Register was used to identify women diagnosed with breast cancer aged 70-74 and the National

Cause of Death Register was used to gain data on cause of death for those who died from breast cancer aged 70-89.

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Cause of death may be difficult to decide – particularly for older women.

Consequently, the excess mortality in breast cancer cases was measured in conjunction

with the underlying cause of death.

‘Given that we live longer and remain active in old age, it is also valuable to screen

for cancer in order to start treatment in time,’ says Jonsson. amazon television

Most randomised controlled trials into breast cancer screening were conducted about

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40 years ago and only one included women up to 74 years, the authors said.

‘Nevertheless, this group was too small to provide any clear evidence either way’.

Observational studies are rare in this age group as few countries have invited these women to screening.

This also means that the evidence of the importance of mammography in women aged 70 to 74 has been scarce until now.

Not everyone agrees with the findings of this study. Zara Schneider from Cancer

Research UK says it didn’t look at the potential harms of breast cancer screening.

She said overall for women over 70, the harms of screening outweigh the benefits.

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This includes overdiagnosis – where cancer is picked up that would never have caused

a problem for the person during their lifetime.

‘Given that we live longer and remain active in old age, it is also valuable to screen

for cancer in order to start treatment in time,’ says Jonsson. amazon television

The findings have been published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world and affects more than two MILLION women a year amazon television

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK there are more than

55,000 new cases, and the disease claims the lives of 11,500 women. In the US, it strikes

266,000 each year and kills 40,000. But what causes it and how can it be treated?

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread.

For example, blood tests, an ultrasound scan of the liver or a chest x-ray.

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