Low impact of breast cancer screening: CNGE delivers its opinion on the new plan

An action plan for the renovation of breast cancer screening was published last April. Prevention consultations will be offered to women as young as 25 years old. For the CNGE, the National College of Teaching Generalists, the effectiveness of this measure is not certain.

Screening for breast cancer at the age of 25 is the flagship measure of the action plan for the renovation of breast cancer screening at the Ministry of Health. This is a prevention consultation, performed by a gynecologist or general practitioner to identify family history, inform and educate young women. The national college of teaching generalists (CNGE) has given an opinion on this subject, it calls into question the effectiveness of such a measure.

Screening too early

Among the limits of this proposal, the precocity of this consultation. For these doctors, in this age group, the majority of health risks are other. Above all, the effectiveness of information delivered earlier is not proven. On the other hand, it can have risks, overdiagnosis or false positive, or physical consequences (invasive gestures, treatments). Finally, the incidence of breast cancer between 25 and 29 years is low, limiting the benefits of such a measure.

Mortality: low impact of screening

Treatments are more effective than screening in reducing mortality
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that to fight against breast cancer mortality, treatments are more effective than screening. US researchers have made projections to understand the comparative effectiveness of screening and treatment in reducing breast cancer mortality.
Between 2000 and 2012, the decrease in breast cancer mortality was 49%: 37% related to improvements in screening, 63% related to treatment.

In France, according to the league against cancer, breast cancer mortality has not increased since the 1980s and three out of four breast cancers are cured on average.

Video: Breast Cancer Screening - Annual vs Personalized: Expert Q&A (December 2019).