Recent Changes in Breast Cancer Incidence in Spain, 1980–2004

Pollán, Marina
Pastor Barriuso, Roberto
Ardanaz, Eva
Argüelles, Marcial
Martos Jiménez, Mª Carmen
Galceran, Jaume
Chirlaque, María Dolores
Larrañaga, Nerea
Martínez Cobo, Ruth
Tobalina, María-Cres
Vidal, Enrique
Mateos, Antonio
Garau, Isabel
Jiménez, Rosario
Torrella Ramos, Ana
Perucha, Josefina
González, Susana
Borràs, Joan
Navarro, Carmen
Hernández, Esther
López Abente, Gonzalo
Martínez, Carmen
Background Since the 1980s, Spain experienced two decades of sharply increasing breast cancer incidence. Declines in breast cancer incidence have recently been reported in many developed countries. We examined whether a similar downturn might have taken place in Spain in recent years. Methods Cases of invasive female breast cancer were drawn from all population-based Spanish cancer registries that had at least 10 years of uninterrupted registration over the period 1980–2004. Overall and age-specific changes in incidence rates were evaluated using change-point Poisson models, which allow for accurate detection and estimation of trend changes. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results A total of 80 453 incident cases of invasive breast cancer were identified. Overall age- and registry-adjusted incidence rates rose by 2.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.7% to 3.1%) annually during the 1980s and 1990s; there was a statistically significant change in this trend in 2001 (95% CI = 1998 to 2004; P value for the existence of a change point <.001), after which incidence declined annually by 3.0% (95% CI = 1.8% to 4.1%). This trend differed by age group: There was a steady increase in incidence for women younger than 45 years, an abrupt downturn in 2001 for women aged 45–64 years, and a gradual leveling off in 1995 for women aged 65 years or older. Separate analyses for registries that had at least 15 years of uninterrupted registration detected a statistically significant interruption of the previous upward trend in breast cancer incidence in provinces that had aggressive breast cancer screening programs and high screening participation rates, including Navarra (change point = 1991, P < .001), Granada (change point = 2002, P = .003), Bizkaia (change point = 1998, P < .001), Gipuzkoa (change point = 1998, P = .001), and Araba (change point = 1997, P = .002). Conclusions The recent downturn in breast cancer incidence among Spanish women older than 45 years is best explained by a period effect linked to screening saturation ​
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