To study elderly women > or = 60 years of age diagnosed with breast cancer and analyze this cohort according to death from breast cancer and death due to comorbidities. Patients aged 60-69 years of age were included in routine mammography screening, but not women aged > or = 70 years. This enabled a comparison between the 2 groups regarding screening effect, tumor size and survival in breast cancer.
A consecutive sample of 311 breast cancer patients > or = 60 years of age from 1991 were analyzed according to tumor size at diagnosis, frequencies of lymph node metastasis, tumor histological grade and stage, ploidy, proliferation index, stem-line-scatter index and survival rate in breast cancer and other causes of death. Tumor size was compared to a patient group aged 60-69 from 1987, before the introduction of mammography screening in Sweden.
In the screening group a significant reduction in tumor size was found at diagnosis compared to the sample from 1987 (p or = 70 years (p