Targeted breast cancer screening in women younger than 40: results from a statewide program

Mary Clare Sarff, Katherine Schmidt, John T. Vetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Our state Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) has previously reported a paucity of data supporting breast screening for asymptomatic women younger than 40 (cancer detection rate of .25% per screening-year). In partnership with the local Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, we began a targeted "screening" program to evaluate women younger than 40 referred for symptoms or other concerns. Methods: Retrospective data review of program results, including demographics, symptoms, evaluations performed, and outcomes. Results: A total of 176 women, ages 16 to 39 years, were referred to the BCCP/Komen program. Of the women with documented presenting symptoms, the most common was breast lump (81%). Evaluation triggered 75 surgical referrals and 69 biopsies, yielding 16 cancers (a biopsy positive rate of 23% and overall cancer detection rate from the program of 9%). Conclusions: For women younger than age 40, targeted breast cancer screening is a more efficient utilization of screening resources, with a higher cancer detection rate than asymptomatic screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)626-630
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Breast cancer
  • Screening
  • Symptoms
  • Targeted
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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