MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 1989 to 2018, between 384,046 and 614,484 cumulative breast cancer deaths are estimated to have been averted, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

R. Edward Hendrick, Ph.D., from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, and colleagues estimated the number of breast cancer deaths averted by screening mammography and improved treatments since 1989 using age-adjusted female breast cancer mortality rates and population data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Deaths averted for women aged 40 to 84 years were estimated using four different assumptions regarding background mortality rates.

The researchers found that in 2012, 2015, and 2018, the number of single-year breast cancer deaths averted varied from 20,860 to 33,842, from 23,703 to 39,415, and from 27,083 to 45,726, respectively. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, the reductions in breast cancer mortality ranged from 38.6 to 50.5 percent, from 41.5 to 54.2 percent, and from 45.3 to 58.3 percent, respectively. Since 1989, the cumulative breast cancer deaths averted varied from 237,234 to 370,402 in 2012, from 305,934 to 483,435 in 2015, and from 384,046 to 614,484 in 2018.

“We believe that hundreds of thousands of women’s lives, likely in excess of one-half million by 2018, have been saved by the use of screening mammography and new developments in breast cancer treatment since 1989,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the medical technology industry.

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