As the benefit of clinical breast examination (CBE) over that of screening mammography alone in reducing breast cancer mortality is uncertain, it is informative to monitor its contribution to interim measures of effectiveness of a screening programme. Here, the contribution of CBE to screening mammography in the early detection of breast cancer was evaluated.
Four Canadian organised breast cancer screening programmes.
Women aged 50-69 receiving dual screening (CBE and mammography) (n = 300,303) between 1996 and 1998 were followed up between screen and diagnosis. Outcomes assessed by mode of detection (CBE alone, mammography alone, or both CBE and mammography) included referral rate, positive predictive value, pathological features of tumours (size, nodal status, morphology), and cancer detection rates overall and for small cancers (