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Research Letter
July 2018

Breast Cancer With a Poor Prognosis Diagnosed After Screening Mammography With Negative Results

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston
  • 2Cancer Research and Biostatistics, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • 4Department of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  • 6Departments of Radiology and Surgery and the University of Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Burlington
JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(7):998-1001. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.0352

Approximately 15% of breast cancers are diagnosed after the patient undergoes screening mammography with negative results and before the next recommended screening examination.1 These interval cancers (cases of cancer diagnosed during the interval between examinations) include both cancers that were present during screening mammography but were missed on examination and rapidly growing cancers that present symptomatically and tend to have a poorer prognosis than cancers detected during screening.1-3 Identifying women who are at high risk of breast cancer with a poor prognosis despite regular screening mammography could enable targeted supplemental screening for women for whom screening mammography may not be sufficient. This study describes the incidence of and risk factors associated with breast cancer with a poor prognosis after screening mammography with negative findings.