Annual breast Ca screening reassuring for at-risk women

October 1, 2007

Young women with a family history of breast cancer are reassured by annual mammograms and take false-positive results in stride, according to a report published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Young women with a family history of breast cancer are reassured by annual mammograms and take false-positive results in stride, according to a report published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Joan Austoker, PhD, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a study of 1,286 women under age 50 with a family history of breast cancer, of whom 1,174 received an immediate all-clear result and 112 were recalled for additional tests before receiving an all-clear result. The women filled in a questionnaire regarding their level of worry about cancer, perceived benefits of screening, and psychological effects of the process.

The women who were immediately declared clear worried less about cancer while those in the recall group did not. However, both groups reported similar, significant reductions in cancer-specific distress at the 6-month mark. Overall, the women who were recalled were more positive about the advantages of screening versus those who received an immediate all-clear.

Tyndel S, Austoker J, Henderson BJ, et al. What is the psychological impact of mammographic screening on younger women with a family history of breast cancer? J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:3823-3830.