EMAS position statement: individualized breast cancer screening versus population-based mammography screening programmes

Maturitas. 2014 Dec;79(4):481-6. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.09.002. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Introduction: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women, with slightly more than ten percent developing the disease in Western countries. Mammography screening is a well established method to detect breast cancer.

Aims: The aim of the position statement is to review critically the advantages and shortcomings of population based mammography screening.

Materials and methods: Literature review and consensus of expert opinion.

Results and conclusion: Mammography screening programmes vary worldwide. Thus there are differences in the age at which screening is started and stopped and in the screening interval. Furthermore differences in screening quality (such as equipment, technique, resolution, single or double reading, recall rates) result in a sensitivity varying from 70% to 94% between studies. Reporting results of screening is subject to different types of bias such as overdiagnosis. Thus because of the limitations of population-based mammography screening programmes an algorithm for individualized screening is proposed.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Individualized; Mammography screening.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / methods*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Women's Health