Advantages and Benefits
The main advantages and benefits of screening mammography performed as part of an organized program are briefly outlined below.
Screening mammography allows the detection of even small tumors (less than 1 cm), which in most cases have not yet developed lymph node or distant metastates. This increases the chances of survival and recovery. In fact, tumors smaller than 1 cm have a 95% chance of healing mammogram screening in West Orange.
Less invasive treatments
Thanks to the early diagnosis of tumors, women can be subjected to less invasive treatments with limited side effects. In most cases, in fact, it is possible to preserve the breast and resort to conservative surgery, limiting itself to the removal of only the tumor nodule with a small portion of surrounding normal tissue (tumorectomy) or of the entire mammary quadrant affected by the neoplasm with the skin overlying (quadrantectomy).
Better quality of life
The use of timely treatment allows to reduce side effects not only in the acute phase of the disease, but also subsequently, improving the quality of life and reducing the probability of relapse.
Equal access to an early diagnosis examination of optimal quality
Even less affluent women, often less medicalized and with a poor general state of health, can benefit from a quality mammogram. Access to mammography is thus guaranteed equally to all women of a certain age group, regardless of their socio-economic status, without having to resort to a doctor for its prescription.
The screening mammography performed under the cantonal program is completely free for women, as 90% of the cost is covered by the basic health insurance (benefit without deductible) and the 10% participation fee is paid loaded by the Republic and Canton of Ticino.
As part of the organized early diagnosis program, women benefit from an optimal quality mammography examination, as:
the service providers involved (radiology services, medical radiology technicians, radiologists), as well as the mammography systems used, meet internationally defined high quality criteria and requirements and are regularly subjected to rigorous controls;
the medical radiology technicians have specific and continuous training in order to guarantee an optimal quality of the mammograms performed;
screening mammograms are independently examined by two specially trained radiologists who are required a minimum number of readings per year, in order to ensure optimal evaluation of the mammograms;
in case of conflicting results of the first and second reading, a third joint evaluation is carried out;
the quality and effectiveness of the organized screening program is constantly assessed through the systematic collection of data and the production of internationally recognized standardized indicators.
All these aspects contribute:
on the one hand, to increase the sensitivity of screening mammography by 5-15%, i.e. the ability to correctly identify the presence of a breast anomaly that must be further investigated by means of additional diagnostic tests (e.g. ultrasound, biopsy) ;
on the other hand, to significantly decrease false positives, ie the number of women subjected to unnecessary additional examinations (eg ultrasound), as they do not reveal the presence of breast cancer, compared to those of an opportunistic mammogram.