As we know, detecting a breast tumor early can reduce its mortality. However, the year 2020 was marked by a significant drop in participation in the screening program. Thus, 2.5 million women have had an organized screening mammogram, which corresponds to a national participation rate of 42.8%. For the 2018-2019 period, this rate was around 50%!
“This decrease is observed for all age groups and in all regions of mainland France and in all overseas departments and regions”, alert Public Health France. “It is probably due to several factors linked to the health crisis of covid-19: temporary closure of Regional cancer screening coordination centers during the first confinement (…), closure of the radiology practices and reduced activity on reopening due to the application of the necessary health measures resulting in limited access to mammograms ”.
Prevention above all
The exceptional situation of the year 2020 should not make us forget that in the fight against breast cancer, screening is an important weapon… But it is not the only one. Equally important is combating risky behavior. Thus, in 2015, in metropolitan France, around 15.1% of breast cancers in women over 30 were attributable to alcohol consumption and 4.4% to smoking; 10.6% of postmenopausal breast cancers were attributable to overweight and obesity.
Every two years, the screening program invites women aged 50 to 74 to have a mammogram, supplemented by a clinical breast exam.
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