Evaluation of the interval cancer rate and its determinants on the Girona health region’s early breast cancer detection program

The main aim of this study is to estimate the rate of false negative and true IC on the Program for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer (PEDBC) run by the Girona Health Region (GHR) and compare the clinicopathological characteristics of these tumors with those detected within the same program. Methods: A retrospective cohort study including all women participating on the Girona PEDBC between 2000 and 2006, with negative mammography screening. The IC included are those detected between the first and second round of screening and between the second and third round. Results: We identified a total of 43 IC, representing an incidence rate of 0.70 cases per 1,000 screened women. Of the 43 probable IC, we were able to classify a total of 22 (51.2%) cases. Of these 22 cases, 54.5% were classified as true interval tumors, 13.6% false negatives, 18.2% occult tumors and the remaining 13.6% minimal sign. We found significant differences in some clinicopathological characteristics of the IC comparing with the tumors detected within the program during the same period. Conclusions: The IC rate for the PEDBC is within the expected parameters, with a high proportion of cases of true interval cancers (54.5%) and a low proportion of false negatives (13.6%). The results show that the proportional incidence of IC is within the limits set by European Guidelines. Furthermore, it has been confirmed that IC display more aggressive clinicopathological characteristics than screening breast cancers ​
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