Women treated with chest radiation for a pediatric malignancy have a significantly increased risk of breast cancer at a young age and are recommended to have an annual screening mammogram starting at age 25 or 8 years after radiation, whichever occurs last.
Characterize the breast cancer surveillance practices among female pediatric cancer survivors who were treated with chest radiation and identify correlates of screening.
Design, Setting, Participants
Between June 2005 and August 2006, a 114-item questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 625 female pediatric cancer survivors who had been treated with chest radiation and were age 25–50 and participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), a North American cohort of long-term survivors diagnosed from 1970–1986. Comparisons were made with similarly aged pediatric cancer survivors not treated with chest radiation (N=639) and the CCSS siblings cohort (N=712).
Main Outcome Measure
Screening mammogram within the previous two years.
Of 1976 cancer survivors and siblings who were contacted, 87.9% participated. Among the 551 women with a history of chest radiation, 55% reported a screening mammogram in the past two years (ages 25–39, 36.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 31.0%–42.0%; ages 40–50, 76.5%; 95% CI, 71.3%–81.7%). In comparison, 40.5% of survivors without chest radiation and 37.0% of CCSS siblings reported a screening mammogram in the same time interval. Notably, among women with a history of chest radiation, 47.3% (95% CI, 41.6%–53.0%) of those under age 40 had never had a mammogram and only 52.6% (95% CI, 46.4%–58.8%) of women ages 40–50 were being regularly screened (two mammograms within four years). Screening rates were higher among women who reported a physician recommendation compared to those who did not (ages 25–39, 76.0% vs. 17.6%; ages 40–50, 87.3% vs. 58.3%). In multivariable models, the association was particularly strong for younger women (ages 25–39, prevalence ratio [PR] = 3.0, 95% CI, 2.0–4.0; ages 40–50, PR = 1.3, 95% CI, 1.1–1.6).
In this study cohort of women who had childhood cancer treated with chest radiation, 63.5% of those aged 25–39 years and 23.5% of those aged 40–50 years had not undergone mammography screening for breast cancer, as recommended by current guidelines for survivors of childhood cancer.