Research Article

Evaluation of a proposed breast cancer screening regimen.

BMJ 1988; 297 doi: (Published 10 September 1988) Cite this as: BMJ 1988;297:650
  1. E. G. Knox
  1. Department of Social Medicine, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston.


    The Forrest working group on breast cancer screening recommended routine mammography for women in the United Kingdom at ages 50, 53, 56, 59, 62, and 65. Benefits were costed at about 3000 pounds for each life year recovered, but there was no estimate of the cost of each life saved, and the consequent reduction in mortality from breast cancer in the general population of the United Kingdom was not estimated. The present study addressed both of these issues using an interactive computer modelling process. Long term savings were calculated at 900 deaths a year in England and Wales--that is, about 8% of the total deaths from breast cancer--and 9% of life years currently lost. The cost of each death saved from breast cancer was estimated at 39,000 pounds.

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