Evaluation of the overdiagnosis in breast screening programmes using a Monte Carlo simulation tool: a study of the influence of the parameters defining the programme configuration
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Forastero C, Zamora LI, Guirado D, et al. Evaluation of the overdiagnosis in breast screening programmes using a Monte Carlo simulation tool: a study of the influence of the parameters defining the programme configuration. BMJ Open 2019;9:e023187.
SponsorshipWork partially supported by the Biomedical Research Networking Center- CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Competitividad (FPA2015-67694), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Junta de Andalucía (FQM0387).
Objectives To build up and test a Monte Carlo simulation procedure for the investigation of overdiagnosis in breast screening programmes (BSPs). Design A Monte Carlo tool previously developed has been adapted for obtaining the quantities of interest in order to determine the overdiagnosis: the annual and cumulative number of cancers detected by screening, plus interval cancers, for a population following the BSP, and detected clinically for the same population in the absence of screening. Overdiagnosis is obtained by comparing these results in a direct way. Results Overdiagnosis between 7% and 20%, depending on the specific configuration of the programme, have been found. These range of values is in agreement with some of the results available for actual BSPs. In the cases analysed, a reduction of 11% at most has been found in the number of invasive tumours detected by screening in comparison to those clinically detected in the control population. It has been possible to establish that overdiagnosis is almost entirely linked to ductal carcinoma in situ tumours. Conclusions The use of Monte Carlo tools may facilitate the analysis of overdiagnosis in actual BSPs, permitting to address the role played by various quantities of relevance for them.