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Mammos May Not Benefit Elderly Women With Chronic Illness

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 -- For older women, the cumulative incidence of death from other causes is many times higher than breast cancer incidence and death, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Joshua Demb, M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined 10-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer and death from breast cancer by Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and age in the Medicare-linked Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium cohort of 222,088 women.

The researchers found that with increasing CCI, there was no change in the 10-year cumulative incidence of invasive breast cancer, but there was a slight decrease with age (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: CCI0 versus CCI≥2: 4.0 versus 3.9 percent; 3.7 versus 3.4 percent; and 2.7 versus 2.1 percent, respectively). With increasing CCI and age, there was an increase in 10-year cumulative incidence of other-cause death (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: CCI0 versus CCI≥2: 10.4 versus 43.4 percent; 29.8 versus 61.7 percent; and 60.3 versus 84.8 percent, respectively). The 10-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer death was small, with no variation by age (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: 0.2, 0.29, and 0.3 percent, respectively).

"Our research underscores the need to individualize screening decisions among older women," Demb said in a statement.

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Posted: September 2019

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