Women with breast cancer identified between screening mammograms are more likely to be diagnosed with other cancers both before and after their breast cancer diagnosis, according to a Nature Communications study.
Researchers studied nearly 15,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer from two Swedish cohorts and the Women’s Health Initiative. Some 12% of the cancers were interval cancers — that is, they were diagnosed after a negative screening mammography and before the next scheduled screen. The remainder were screen-detected cancers.
Women with interval breast cancers were significantly more likely than those with screen-detected cancers to have been diagnosed with a non-breast cancer tumour before the breast cancer diagnosis (odds ratio, 1.43). Women with interval cancers were also more likely to be diagnosed with a non-breast cancer tumour after their breast cancer diagnosis (OR, 1.28).
In addition, women with interval cancers were more likely to have a family history of non-breast cancer tumors.
The researchers conclude, “These findings could have implications for future screening and prevention programmes.”