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Cost-effectiveness study
Estimating the cost-effectiveness of modern screening mammography programmes
  1. Jean-Luc Bulliard
  1. Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Jean-Luc Bulliard, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Rte de la Corniche 10, Lausanne 1010, Switzerland; jean-luc.bulliard{at}

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The debate about the balance of risks and benefits of mammography screening has prompted a comprehensive review by an independent panel in the UK. However, the panel's remit did not cover the important economic dimension of breast cancer screening.


The life histories of two cohort studies of 50-year-old women, who would be eligible within the National Health Service (NHS) breast screening programme (NHSBSP), were simulated over 35 years, using a life table approach. One cohort participant was offered screening at age 50 and triennially thereafter until age 70, assuming 75% attendance, while the other received no screening. Based on the findings from the panel's report, the cost-effectiveness of the NHSBSP was assessed for various scenarios of screening effect on breast cancer incidence (base case …

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  • Competing interests None.