Research - 22.09.2023 - 11:30
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in women in Switzerland. It affects 6,500 women annually, with 550 of them in the cantons of St.Gallen and Graubünden. In most cases, women over 50 are affected. The "donna" breast cancer early detection programme aims to contribute to earlier detection and a more effective treatment of breast cancer. Women between the ages of 50 and 69 are invited to undergo a voluntary breast X-ray examination, known as a mammogram, every two years through "donna."
To evaluate data from 2010 to 2019 in the cantons of St.Gallen and Graubünden, and the Cancer League of Eastern Switzerland enlisted the School of Medicine (MED-HSG). Data from the Eastern Switzerland Cancer Registry and the "donna" programme documenting over 2,700 breast cancer cases were analysed. The primary goal of the collaboration was to ensure and enhance the quality of the "donna" program.
Early detection programmes can identify cancer in its early stages. One quality criterion for effective early detection programmes is minimizing so-called "interval carcinomas," which occur between two screening examinations. If a first examination is declared unremarkable but breast cancer is diagnosed within 24 months after screening, it is considered an interval carcinoma.
The following findings are particularly noteworthy:
"Early cancer detection is not only beneficial for individual women but also prevents the treatment of advanced disease and thereby saves resources in our healthcare system," says Prof. Dr. Alexander Geissler, professor of Healthcare Management at the School of Medicine. The mentioned results are just the beginning, as collaborative project continues.
In the next steps, the School of Medicine's research team, in collaboration with experts from the "donna" programme and the cancer registry, will further advance the following approaches:
The collaborating partners recommend participation in breast cancer early detection programs like "donna" and affirm the results of previous studies outside Switzerland. In the words of Dr. med. Rudolf Morant, president of the Cancer League of Eastern Switzerland: "Join in and bring a friend; you may save her life."
Image: Adobe Stock / Valerii Apetroaiei
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