Publication Abstract

Authors: Lacour A, Mamelle N, Arnold F, Bazin B, Bohec C, Brégeault A, Chaperon J, Dubuc M, Duru G, Exbrayat C, Fontaine D, Manuel C, Obadia Y, Piette C, San Marco JL, Schaffer P, Trugeon A, Brémond A, Charles R, Cohen M, Cordier B, Dubreuil A, Namer M, Renaud R, Allemand H

Title: [Mass screening programs for breast cancer in France. Comparative evaluation].

Journal: J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris) 26(5):470-83

Date: 1997

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to comparatively assess the results of mass screening programs for breast cancer implemented in six French departments in 1986, within the scope of the National Fund for Health Prevention, Education and Information of the National Health Insurance Office of Salaried Workers. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The data collected by the screening centres were analyzed by ten assessment teams that were independent from the program promotion staff, all using the same evaluation form. A complementary population study performed in eight French districts then, allowed assessing the frequency of self-referred screening (mammography performed out of program). RESULTS: The rate of participation in screening programs, in relation to the invited population, ranged from 21 to 48%, according to the district (36% in average). This low participation was probably related to the extent of self-referred screening. In fact, 19 to 40% of women, according to the district, had previously had a screening mammographic coverage: rate was around 68% in women aged 50 to 69 years. Positive findings with mammography ranged from 4.5 to 15.8% (10.1% in average), while intervention rates ranged from 0.7 to 1.6% and detection rates from 3.8 to 6.2%. The ratio between benign tumors and cancers ranged from 0.7 to 2.1 according to the district. In order to enlighten the judgement on French results, we propose a comparison with the international standards in force. CONCLUSION: The various experiences with breast cancer screening in France show that this screening is technically feasible on the basis of existing medical structures. However, some criteria are still below the expected values, especially if compared with international standards. This result is probably accounted for by the high rate self-referred screening before age 40 in France. In these conditions, the question is whether extending breast cancer screening programs in France is an appropriate course of action.