APH 2006, 64, 55-70:

Twelve years of breast cancer screening in Flemish-Brabant and Limburg.

G. Vande Putte, E. Van Limbergen, A. Van Steen, C. Van Ongeval, G. Eeckelaers, MJ Hernández-Benito, J. Steylaerts

Keywords: mass screening, mammography, predictive value of test, programme evaluation

The Leuven University Centre for Cancer Prevention (LUCK) has been involved in breast cancer screening since 1993. It participates in the Flemish breast cancer screening programme that started in June 2001 and provides a biennial mammography to women aged 50 to 69 years.

This paper presents early surrogate indicators from 1993 to 15 June 2001 (BS) and from 15 June 2001 to 2004 (AS) in the provinces Flemish-Brabant and Limburg and examines whether the recommended European standards have been achieved.

Methods: Early quality indicators, according to The European Guidelines for Mammographic Screening (14) were calculated for initial as well for subsequent screens.

Results: In this period 194,118 women have been screened, 64,503 before and 129,615 after the starting of the Flemish programme. The coverage in the first period ranged from 14.3% to 32.7% whereas the coverage AS varied between 34.6% and 44.4%.

The corresponding recall rates were 3.1% (BS) and 2.5% (AS). Per 1000 women screened 6.6 (BS) and 6.5 (AS) breast cancers were detected. Of these cancers 81.2% (BS) and 80.1% (AS) were invasive. Of the invasive cancers 29.7% (BS) and 43.5% (AS) were less than 10 mm and 76.5% (BS) and 71.6% (AS) have no nodal involvement.

Conclusions: The performance parameters corresponding to these two periods fulfilled the European standards for the most part.