Women who undergo annual breast cancer screenings have a decreased risk of mortality and a better treatment experience upon diagnosis, according to a group of researchers lead by László Tabár, MD.

In their study recently published in Cancer, Dr. Tabár and his investigators looked at data collected by the Swedish Cancer Registry of 52,000 women who had either received mammography or had never been screened for breast cancer between 1977 and 2015, and contrasted that information with studies between 1958 and 1976, which is considered the pre-screening era.

They evaluated breast cancer diagnosis rates and breast cancer mortality statistics after 10 years and then between 11 to 20 years. They found that “women who chose to participate in an organized breast cancer screening program” were 60 percent less likely to die from the cancer after 10 years of receiving their diagnosis, and had a 47 percent reduced mortality risk within 20 years of diagnosis. They also found that the instance of breast cancer diagnosis was 62 percent higher among women who didn’t participate in mammography screening than during the pre-screening era.

“Our results, from precise, individual‐based data covering 6 decades, should provide women and their physicians with reassurance that participating in regular, high‐quality mammography screening is the best way to reduce the risk of a premature death from breast cancer,” wrote the researchers.