- A large U.S.-based cohort study finds that breast cancer incidence decreases after age 75 years.
- Cumulative incidence of death from other causes is far greater than that from breast cancer.
Why this matters
- Findings suggest that older women with higher comorbidity scores may have little benefit from continued screening mammography.
- 222,088 women aged 66-94 years in the Medicare-linked Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium with ≥1 screening mammogram.
- Funding: None disclosed.
- Over a median of 107 months, 7583 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and 1742 with ductal carcinoma in situ.
- 471 died from breast cancer, whereas 42,229 died from other causes.
- 10-year cumulative breast cancer incidence decreased after age 75 years:
- Age 66-74 years: 4.0% (95% CI, 3.9%-4.1%).
- Age 75-84 years: 3.6% (95% CI, 3.5%-3.8%).
- Age 86-94 years: 2.7% (95% CI, 2.4%-3.0%).
- 10-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer death was very small and did not vary by age:
- Age 66-74 years: 0.2% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.3%).
- Age 75-84 years: 0.29% (95% CI, 0.25%-0.34%).
- Age 86-94 years: 0.3% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.4%).
- 10-year cumulative incidence of other causes of death increases from 10.4% to 84.8%, depending on comorbidities and age, far in excess of likelihood of death from breast cancer.
- May not be nationally representative.