Effectiveness of breast cancer screening policies in countries with medium-low incidence rates
AbstractChile has lower breast cancer incidence rates compared to those in developed countries. Our public health system aims to perform 10 biennial screening mammograms in the age group of 50 to 69 years by 2020. Using a dynamic programming model, we have found the optimal ages to perform 10 screening mammograms that lead to the lowest lifetime death rate and we have evaluated a set of fixed inter-screening interval policies. The optimal ages for the 10 mammograms are 43, 47, 51, 54, 57, 61, 65, 68, 72, and 76 years, and the most effective fixed inter-screening is every four years after the 40 years. Both policies respectively reduce lifetime death rate in 6.4% and 5.7% and the cost of saving one life in 17% and 9.3% compared to the 2020 Chilean policy. Our findings show that two-year inter-screening interval policies are less effective in countries with lower breast cancer incidence; thus we recommend screening policies with a wider age range and larger inter-screening intervals for Chile.
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