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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


Declining Trend in Annual Mammography Among Breast Cancer Survivors, 12 Year-Analysis Reports

By: Victoria Kuhr, BA
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022

A 12-year retrospective cohort study observed the highest decline in surveillance mammography participation among women breast cancer survivors aged 40 to 49. Additionally, Kathryn P. Lowry, MD, of the University of Washington, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and colleagues reported the declines in mammography participation span across multiple health-care and demographic factors, with no clear reason for this decline. These study findings were published in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

“The declining adherence to surveillance could result in missed opportunities for early detection of breast cancer recurrence, potentially translating to poorer breast cancer outcomes,” said the study authors. “The twofold decline observed among younger versus older survivors is particularly concerning, given the importance of surveillance in young women, who are more likely to have aggressive tumors and the greatest remaining life expectancy.”

The study analyzed the annual surveillance mammography participation from 2004 to 2016 in a nationwide sample of women who had breast cancer. The rate of mammography participation was compared by age group (40–49 years vs. 50–64 years), visit with a surgical/oncology specialist or primary care provider within the prior year, and sociodemographic characteristics.

The study included 141,672 women. Mammography rates declined from 74.1% in 2004 to 67.1% in 2016. After remaining stable from 2004 to 2009, mammography rates declined approximately 1.5% annually from 2009 to 2016. Mammography rates in women aged 40 to 49 declined 2.8% annually after 2009 versus 1.4% annually in women aged 50 to 64. Mammography rates were higher in women who had seen a surgeon and/or oncologist or a primary care provider in the prior year compared with women who did not. However, mammography rates continued to decline by approximately 1.6% to 1.7% annually from 2009 to 2016.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of study authors, visit

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