Reduction in mortality from breast cancer after mass screening with mammography. Randomised trial from the Breast Cancer Screening Working Group of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare

Lancet. 1985 Apr 13;1(8433):829-32. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(85)92204-4.


A randomised controlled trial to investigate the efficacy of mass screening with single-view mammography in reducing mortality from breast cancer was started in Sweden in 1977. 162 981 women aged 40 years or more and living in the counties of Kopparberg and Ostergötland were enrolled in the study and divided at random into 2 groups. Each woman in the study group was offered screening every 2 or 3 years depending on age. Women in the control group were not offered screening. This report is confined to the 134 867 women aged 40-74 years at date of entry. The results to the end of 1984 show a 31% reduction in mortality from breast cancer and a 25% reduction in the rate of stage II or more advanced breast cancers in the group invited to screening. 7 years after the start of the study the excess of stage I cancers in the study group largely outweighs the deficit of advanced cancers.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation
  • Sweden