Harms of screening mammography for breast cancer in Japanese women

Yoshio Kasahara, Masaaki Kawai, Ichiro Tsuji, Eriko Tohno, Takao Yokoe, Minoru Irahara, Akira Tangoku, Noriaki Ohuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background The US Preventative Services Task Force assesses the efficacy of breast cancer screening by the sum of its benefits and harms, and recommends against routine screening mammography because of its relatively great harms for women aged 40-49 years. Assessment of the efficacy of screening mammography should take into consideration not only its benefits but also its harms, but data regarding those harms are lacking for Japanese women. Methods In 2008 we collected screening mammography data from 144,848 participants from five Japanese prefectures by age bracket to assess the harms [false-positive results, performance of unnecessary additional imaging, fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNA), and biopsy and its procedures]. Results The rate of cancer detected in women aged 40-49 years was 0.28%. The false-positive rate (9.6%) and rates of additional imaging by mammography (5.8%) and ultrasound (7.3%) were higher in women aged 40-49 years than in the other age brackets. The rates of FNA (1.6%) and biopsy (0.7%) were also highest in women aged 40-49 years. However, they seemed to be lower than the rates reported by the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) and other studies in the US. Conclusions The results, although preliminary, indicate the possibility that the harms of screening mammography for Japanese women are less than those for American women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct


  • Breast cancer screening
  • Harm
  • Mammography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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