University Of East AngliaBreast cancer appears to refer to cancers originating from breast tissue, most generally from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that provide the ducts with milk. A new study from University of East Anglia (UEA) claims that screening younger women for breast cancer may be more reasonable and could turn out to be economically sensible.

The study evaluated the present screening guidelines apparently in terms of both cost effectiveness and equality. The study authors concluded that expanding the hotly-debated screening programme to younger women could encompass actual advantages in terms of both monetary effectiveness and fairness. The method could also be utilized for other deadly diseases with similar age distributions.

Principal investigator Prof Louis Niessen, a public health economist at UEA’s School of Medicine, commented, “Screening only older women increases unfair disparities in terms of life expectancy, quality of life and incidence of disease. Our findings show that extending screening to younger women will lead to a better mix of health programmes and a more balanced approach to the fight against breast cancer.”

Prof Niessen advocated policymakers and agencies like NICE to apply correct value-based weighing techniques and consider women’s preferences while assessing breast cancer control guidelines.

The study was published by the journal Value in Health.