Incidence of interval cancer and detection rate of first screenings are inconsistent

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6985.1002a (Published 15 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1002
  1. Rob Boer,
  2. Harry J De Koning,
  3. Gerrit J Van Oortmarssen,
  4. Paul J Van Der Maas
  1. Statistician-informatician Epidemiologist Mathematician Professor of public health Department of Public Health, Erasmus University, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands

    EDITOR,—Ciaron B J Woodman and colleagues report the first data on interval cancers from the NHS breast screening programme.1 They do not comment on a serious inconsistency between the incidence of interval cancers and the detection rate at first screening, which deserves attention before conclusions are drawn from the data.

    The incidences in the first three years after screening are 31%, 52%, and 82% of the underlying incidence. This reduction in incidence after screening occurs because of the cancers that were detected by …

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