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INTRODUCTION: This multicentre, retrospective study aimed to establish correlation between estimated tumour volume doubling times (TVDT) from a series of interval breast cancers with their clinicopathological features. The potential impact of delayed diagnosis on prognosis was also explored. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Interval cancers, where screening mammograms demonstrated changes that were retrospectively classified as either uncertain or suspicious, were reviewed from five screening units within the UK NHS Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP). Data collected included the time interval between screening mammogram and cancer diagnosis, the size of the initial mammographic abnormality and of the subsequent cancer, demographics, mammographic density and tumour biology. We estimated volume doubling times and the estimated change in size and node status, which would have followed if these cancers had been detected at the previous screen. RESULTS: 306 interval cancers meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. Average time from screening to diagnosis was 644 days (SD 276 days). 19% were diagnosed in the first twelve months, 42% in the subsequent twelve months and 39% thereafter. Overall average estimated TVDT was 167 days (95% CI 151-186). Significant differences were noted with age (p = 0.01), grade (p 

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





114 - 119


Breast cancer, Mammography, Screening, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Density, Breast Neoplasms, Early Detection of Cancer, Female, Humans, Mammography, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Grading, Retrospective Studies, State Medicine, Time Factors, Tumor Burden, United Kingdom