4P - Association of symptoms and breast cancer in population screening for cancer

Date 08 May 2014
Event IMPAKT 2014
Session Welcome reception and Poster Walk
Topics Breast Cancer
Cancer Aetiology, Epidemiology, Prevention
Presenter Deependra Singh
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_1): i1-i1. 10.1093/annonc/mdu061
Authors D. Singh1, N. Malila2, A. Pokhrel2, A. Anttila2
  • 1Epidemiology And Public Health, University of Tampere, 33101 - Tampere/FI
  • 2Mass Screening Registry, Finnish Cancer Registry, FI00130 - Helsinki/FI


In Finland, organized national screening program for breast cancer is based on mammography and clinical examination of possible symptoms. The purpose of the study was to assess the association of symptoms at screening visits with the detection of breast cancer. A cross-sectional study was performed among women aged 50 to 69 years who had breast cancer screening during the period 2006-2010. A total of 1.2 million screening visits were made and symptoms (lump, retraction, scar, secretion and mole) were reported either by women or radiographer. 6445 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer risk was calculated for each symptom using the odds ratios (OR) at 95 confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regression models. Out of 1198410 screening visits symptoms was reported in 298220 (25) visits, of which breast cancer was detected in 2323 (0.78) women. Women reporting lump had an increased odd of breast cancer (OR 6.47, CI 5.897.09) than retraction (OR 2.19, CI 1.902.49) and other symptoms. The sensitivity of symptoms in detecting breast cancer was 35.5 however individual sensitivity of symptoms ranged from 0.66 to 14.7. The 1857 (36) out of 5165 invasive tumors were reported as symptom/s. Our findings reinforce the importance of fully evaluating the symptoms as a predictor of breast cancer. This study was done in a setting where the size of breast tumors is usually rather small. Still, the findings may have relevance also for such countries, which plan to develop CBE as an alternative to mammography screening in breast cancer control.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.