, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 73-81

Current status and goals of mammographic screening for breast cancer in japan

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Abstract

In Europe and the United States, the proportion of women receiving mammographic screening for breast cancer has increased to 60-80%, resulting in an increase in the detection of early-stage cancer and a reduction in the mortality rate. The objectives of breast cancer screening have thus already been achieved there. In Japan, both the incidence and mortality of breast cancer have increased recently. Breast cancer screening has long been performed by clinical breast examination (CBE) alone. A reduction in the mortality of breast cancer cannot be expected from CBE. Mammographie screening for breast cancer was recommended in a notification issued by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 1999. An important aspect of mammographie screening is quality control. The Central Committee on Quality Control of Mammographie Screening (Central Committee) was organized by six screening-related societies, and attempts have since been made to establish a quality control system. Both the social recognition of the Central Committee and its cooperation with the “Quality Control Committee” of each community will become important. The cover rate of nationwide breast cancer screening by CBE alone is 12-13%, while the implementation rate of mammographie screening is presently very low and its cover rate is considered to be about 2%. With such a low cover rate, it is absolutely impossible to reduce the mortality of breast cancer. To achieve this, the administration and clinicians will be required to cooperate with each other to increase the spread and cover rate of high-quality mammographie screening.