Publication Abstract

Authors: Codd MB, Laird OM, Dowling M, Dervan PA, Gorey TF, Stack JP, O'Herlihy B, Ennis JT

Title: Screening for breast cancer in Ireland: the Eccles Breast Screening Programme.

Journal: Eur J Cancer Prev 3 Suppl 1:21-8

Date: 1994 Jan

Abstract: The Eccles Breast Screening Programme is a population-based screening programme for breast cancer, based at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin. It began in 1989 simultaneously with similar programmes in Belgium, France, Greece, Portugal and Spain. The objectives of the Eccles Programme are: (i) to evaluate the impact of mammographic screening on morbidity and mortality from breast cancer in Irish women; and (ii) to address the feasibility and potential value of a national breast cancer screening programme. The specific group targeted for screening is women born in 1925 to 1940 inclusive, in a defined geographical area comprising north Dublin City and County, and Counties Cavan and Monaghan. The areas combined comprise 16% of the country's population; just over 29,000 women were invited for screening. An analysis of the demographic and socioeconomic features of the target population reveals that it represents the total population remarkably well. Participants were invited from a population register to attend one of two screening units. Follow-up treatment for those with abnormalities takes place predominantly at the Mater Hospital where the facilities of the Departments of Pathology, Surgery and Oncology have been made available to the programme. Almost 18,000 women had a mammogram in the first round of screening, an overall response rate of 62%. A total of 129 cancers were detected, a prevalence of breast cancer of 7.2 per 1,000. Of those, 15 (11.6%) were entirely intraduct, and an additional 7 (5.4%) had minimal invasion. This is considerably higher than the proportion of intraduct cancers seen in referral practice populations.