Quebec breast cancer screening program reduced mortality rate: study

Over the past 10 years, early detection rates have increased, but at the expense of more false positives.

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He Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Programwhich was launched in 1998 by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, appears to have had a positive impact on the mortality rate, according to A report published this week by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ).

The report indicates that the participation rate in the program increased from 49.6 percent in 2001 to 65.6 percent in 2019. Over the past 10 years, breast cancer screening rates have increased, as has early detection of cancers.

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The proportion of investigations completed by imaging examinations increased from 67.2 percent in 1998 to 80.9 percent in 2019. At the same time, the proportion of diagnostic investigations requiring surgical biopsies fell from 7.6 percent of the cases in 1998 to 1.2 percent in 2019. .

The INSPQ report suggests that although the screening program’s ability to detect breast cancers has improved, this has come at the cost of an increasing number of false positives.

The number of participants requiring diagnostic investigation after a mammogram increased. In most cases, the results were benign, but these additional tests may have led to anxiety, pain and biopsies in the affected women, the report notes.

Since its launch in 1998, Quebec breast cancer The screening program has examined one and a half million Quebec women between 50 and 69 years old. It has allowed nearly six million mammograms to be performed, detecting 35,000 breast cancers.

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