A clinically effective breast cancer screening program can be cost-effective, too

Prev Med. 1987 Jan;16(1):19-34. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(87)90003-x.


The logistics of complying with current American Cancer Society breast cancer screening recommendations in a large health maintenance organization, serving more than 50,000 women age 40 or older, are described. An alternative screening approach estimated to be at least as health-effective as the American Cancer Society recommendations has been developed and appears to solve the problem and is financially feasible. Cost-effectiveness depends on optimal use of mammography and health-care personnel resources. The authors show how the start-up and maintenance costs of an organized program can be offset by future cost savings resulting from reduced long-term disability in patients diagnosed at Stages 0-1 as opposed to Stages 2 and later. Careful selection of the delivery model before implementation can make a breast cancer screening program cost-effective as well as health-effective.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Female
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / economics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Washington