An audit of women attending for technical repeat mammography at the South West London Breast Screening Service between 1991 and 2004
© BioMed Central 2006
Published: 10 July 2006
NHSBSP guidelines recommend that the number of women undergoing repeat examinations should be minimised.
When films are scrutinised for possible cancers, the technical quality should be evaluated and technically inadequate films should be repeated (technical recall). The purpose of this review was to show how many cancers were detected following technical recall.
A retrospective audit of cancers detected at technical recall between January 1991 and March 2004 was performed. During this time 11,149 women were recalled for repeat mammograms. Cancer was detected in 18 of the women who were assessed following technical repeat mammography.
The results showed that only 10 women in 13 years had a cancer detected on the repeat mammogram that was not visible on the initial screening mammogram.
A further eight cancers were detected because review of the initial films at the time of the technical repeat showed subtle abnormalities that had not previously been appreciated.
Our results show that very few additional cancers are detected following technical repeat mammography despite considerable effort to achieve optimal imaging.