Early evaluation of an organised mammography screening program in Greece 2004–2009 Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current study was to present early performance indicators of a breast cancer screening program in Greece. METHODS: Between March 2004 and July 2009, 9621 women aged between 40 and 69 years were recruited into programme on a voluntary basis. The participating women were residents of two adjacent administrative regions of Greece. Several performance indicators were calculated for the first and subsequent screen, separately. RESULTS: A total of 9621 mammograms were 1st screens and 4462 were subsequent screens. The attendance rate was almost 1.5%. The technical repeat rate was 1.7%. On the 1st screen, the recall rate was 11.4%, while the recall rate of the subsequent screens was 5.5%. The vast majority of detected cancers were invasive and only the 1/7 of cancers was identified as DCIS. As concerns tumour size of invasive cancers, the 1.9% and 16.7% was unknown, in the first and subsequent screen, respectively. Moreover, 38.5% and 44.4% of cancers detected in the 1st and subsequent screen, respectively, were less than 15 mm in diameter. Almost 1/5 of diagnosed cancers were interval cancers. CONCLUSIONS: This breast cancer screening programme is the first one in Greece and the attendance rate is extremely low. Taking into account that an organised screening programme may benefit women with a reduction in breast cancer mortality, there is an urgent need to develop a national-based screening programme, to increase participation and to improve the information system used to monitor programme performance.


  • Panagiotakos, Demosthenes
  • Simou, Effie
  • Tsimitselis, Dimitrios
  • Tsopanlioti, Maria
  • Anastasakis, Ioannis
  • Papatheodorou, Dionisios
  • Kourlaba, Georgia
  • Gerasimos, Panagos
  • Maniadakis, Nikos

publication date

  • August 2011