Radiological review of prior screening mammograms of screen-detected breast cancer
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objective: To perform a radiological review of mammograms from prior screening and diagnosis of screen-detected breast cancer in BreastScreen Norway, a population-based screening program. Methods: We performed a consensus-based informed review of mammograms from prior screening and diagnosis for screen-detected breast cancers. Mammographic density and findings on screening and diagnostic mammograms were classified according to the Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System®. Cases were classified based on visible findings on prior screening mammograms as true (no findings), missed (obvious findings), minimal signs (minor/non-specific findings), or occult (no findings at diagnosis). Histopathologic tumor characteristics were extracted from the Cancer Registry of Norway. The Bonferroni correction was used to adjust for multiple testing; p < 0.001 was considered statistically significant. Results: The study included mammograms for 1225 women with screen-detected breast cancer. Mean age was 62 years ± 5 (SD); 46% (567/1225) were classified as true, 22% (266/1225) as missed, and 32% (392/1225) as minimal signs. No difference in mammographic density was observed between the classification categories. At diagnosis, 59% (336/567) of true and 70% (185/ 266) of missed cancers were classified as masses (p = 0.004). The percentage of histological grade 3 cancers was higher for true (30% (138/469)) than for missed (14% (33/234)) cancers (p < 0.001). Estrogen receptor positivity was observed in 86% (387/ 469) of true and 95% (215/234) of missed (p <0.001) cancers. Conclusions: We classified 22%ofthe screen-detected cancers as missed based on a review of prior screening mammograms with diagnostic images available. One main goal of the study was quality improvement of radiologists’ performance and the program. Visible findings on prior screening mammograms were not necessarily indicative of screening failure.