Publication Abstract

Authors: Kemp Jacobsen K, Abraham L, Buist DS, Hubbard RA, O'Meara ES, Sprague BL, Kerlikowske K, Vejborg I, Von Euler-Chelpin M, Njor SH

Title: Comparison of cumulative false-positive risk of screening mammography in the United States and Denmark.

Journal: Cancer Epidemiol 39(4):656-63

Date: 2015 Aug

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: In the United States (US), about one-half of women screened with annual mammography have at least one false-positive test after ten screens. The estimate for European women screened ten times biennially is much lower. We evaluate to what extent screening interval, mammogram type, and statistical methods, can explain the reported differences. METHODS: We included all screens from women first screened at age 50-69 years in the US Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) (n=99,455) between 1996-2010, and from two population-based mammography screening programs in Denmark (n=230,452 and n=400,204), between 1991-2012 and 1993-2013, respectively. Model-based cumulative false-positive risks were computed for the entire sample, using two statistical methods (Hubbard Njor) previously used to estimate false-positive risks in the US and Europe. RESULTS: Empirical cumulative risk of at least one false-positive test after eight (annual or biennial) screens was 41.9% in BCSC, 16.1% in Copenhagen, and 7.4% in Funen. Variation in screening interval and mammogram type did not explain the differences by country. Using the Hubbard method, the model-based cumulative risks after eight screens was 45.1% in BCSC, 9.6% in Copenhagen, and 8.8% in Funen. Using the Njor method, these risks were estimated to be 43.6, 10.9 and 8.0%. CONCLUSION: Choice of statistical method, screening interval and mammogram type does not explain the substantial differences in cumulative false-positive risk between the US and Europe.