The UK national breast cancer screening programme for survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma detects breast cancer at an early stage

Sacha Howell, S. J. Howell, C. Searle, V. Goode, T. Gardener, K. Linton, R. A. Cowan, M. A. Harris, P. Hopwood, R. Swindell, A. Norman, J. Kennedy, A. Howell, A. M. Wardley, J. A. Radford

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    Background:Supradiaphragmatic radiotherapy (SRT) to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) at a young age increases the risk of breast cancer (BC). A national notification risk assessment and screening programme (NRASP) for women who were treated with SRT before the age of 36 years was instituted in the United Kingdom in 2003. In this study, we report the implementation and screening results from the largest English Cancer Network.Methods:A total of 417 eligible women were identified through cancer registry/hospital databases and from follow-up (FU) clinics. Screening results were collated retrospectively, and registry searches were used to capture BC cases.Results:Of the 417 women invited for clinical review, 243 (58%) attended. Of these 417 women, 23 (5.5%) have been diagnosed with BC, a standardised incidence ratio of 2.9 compared with the age-matched general population. Of five invasive BCs diagnosed within the NRASP, none involved axillary lymph nodes compared with 7 of 13 (54%) diagnosed outside the programme (P0.10). The mean latency for BC cases was 19.58.35 years and the mean FU duration for those unaffected by BC was 14.69.11 years (P0.01), suggesting that those unaffected by BC remain at high risk. Recall and negative biopsy rates were acceptable (10.5 and 0.8%, respectively).Conclusions:The NRASP appears to detect BC at an early stage with acceptable biopsy rates, although numbers are small. Determination of NRASP results on a national basis is required for the accurate evaluation of screening efficacy in women previously treated with SRT. © 2009 Cancer Research UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)582-588
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2009


    • Breast
    • Cancer
    • Hodgkin
    • Lymphoma
    • Radiotherapy
    • Supradiaphragmatic


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