Using the European guidelines to evaluate the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program

Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22(7):447-55. doi: 10.1007/s10654-007-9137-y. Epub 2007 Jun 27.


This is an evaluation of selected process indicators achieved during the first 10 years of performance of the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The indicators are compared with the recommended levels given in the European Guidelines. The program invites all female residents aged 50-69 years old to two-view mammography biennially. The attendance rate was 76.2%. The recall rates due to positive mammography were 4.6% and 2.6%, and the detection rates were 6.4 and 4.9 per 1,000 screens, in prevalent and subsequent screens, respectively. Mean tumor size was 14.7 mm for screening detected and 21.2 mm for interval cancers. Axillary lymph node metastases were present in 25.4% and 43.8%, respectively. Detection mode (screening detected or interval cancer) was shown to be an independent predictor for axillary lymph node metastases and high-grade (Grade 3) tumors. The NBCSP meets the recommendations given in the European Guidelines for most of the process indicators evaluated in this study. Based on the results, we anticipate a future mortality reduction from breast cancer in women invited to the NBCSP.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / epidemiology
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Government Programs
  • Guideline Adherence / standards
  • Humans
  • Mammography / standards
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Mass Screening / standards
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Registries