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Mammos May Not Benefit Elderly Women With Chronic Illness

Risk for death from other causes much higher than risk for breast cancer death with increasing comorbidity, age

FRIDAY, Sept. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For older women, the cumulative incidence of death from other causes is many times higher than breast cancer incidence and death, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Joshua Demb, M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined 10-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer and death from breast cancer by Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) and age in the Medicare-linked Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium cohort of 222,088 women.

The researchers found that with increasing CCI, there was no change in the 10-year cumulative incidence of invasive breast cancer, but there was a slight decrease with age (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: CCI0 versus CCI≥2: 4.0 versus 3.9 percent; 3.7 versus 3.4 percent; and 2.7 versus 2.1 percent, respectively). With increasing CCI and age, there was an increase in 10-year cumulative incidence of other-cause death (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: CCI0 versus CCI≥2: 10.4 versus 43.4 percent; 29.8 versus 61.7 percent; and 60.3 versus 84.8 percent, respectively). The 10-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer death was small, with no variation by age (ages 66 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 to 94 years: 0.2, 0.29, and 0.3 percent, respectively).

“Our research underscores the need to individualize screening decisions among older women,” Demb said in a statement.

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