Summary & Review:
Is Breast Cancer Screening One-Size-Fits-All?
How can we objectively determine if the best time and way to start breast cancer screening is the same for all people, or if it varies for individuals? Well, a handful of authors put together an Academic Journal, “Personalized breast cancer screening strategies: A systematic review and quality assessment,” published by PloS ONE, where these authors compiled information that was from two other researches who reviewed studies and took precautions to avoid certain biases when cycling through these studies.
This research method was a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial with a ISPOR-AMCP-NPC Questionnaire and The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool to assure the most objective results possible. Age is currently the only factor used to define the population that should get breast cancer screening, that's not the only relevant factor in play here. But right now, the target participants who are screened for breast cancer are women, usually aged 40-74 years-old in the United States.
These results are collected only from studies that are assessing personalized strategies. The results were collected by multiple sources, researches, and studies. They were reviewed by the two previously mentioned reviewers who worked independently to get their own results, who assessed and sorted through the information and studies. If the two reviewers did not agree, the including of those studies was determined by consensus.
These results answer the question of wither or not breast cancer treatment can be applied in the same way for all individuals. The answer has to be no, it cannot be a one-size-fits-all. Higher-risk patients should be screened earlier and possibly more frequently. The average age that an individual should start screening can vary from ages 35-50, depending on the individual, as well as a few other factors that could increase the chances they could have cancer.
The conclusion is that, although age is one factor, it is not the only one that matters.. There are others to be considered as well. Family history is also a factor. If you have a family history of breast cancer, the risk of you having it is higher. It also can be a genetic cancer. Previously having a benign breast disease may increase the changes of having breast cancer, too. The other thing healthcare professionals could look for is mammographic density; the more dense, the greater the risk the individual could have breast cancer. As for the trails, the main conclusion of the randomized trails is the rate of occurrence of advanced breast cancer. Whereas the observational studies, the outcome was detection rate.
Onto the analysis. Why this research question? Is there even any value to it? I believe that this is a valuable question, because it could potentially get someone treatment in time to save their life. It could catch something early enough to treat it more effectively, and it would give the individual enough time to be able to make a decision about how they would like to handle it; they have time to be better educated about their options, talk with family, and meet with their doctors as well as more specialized healthcare professionals.
The methods used for exploring this research question were very good. The two researchers were fair and used information from multiple researches and studies. They took extra precautions to remove the biases from the studies they used, as well as making sure they were objective in their own work. The group of authors that wrote “Personalized breast cancer screening strategies: A systematic review and quality assessment” were also very fact-oriented and didn't add personal opinion or bias into the journal either.
Those involved – those who wrote directly from the studies, the researchers who cycled through the information objectively, and those who wrote this Academic Journal – also use proper definitions of constructs. They were very careful with explanations and research. It shows that they knew what they were referring to, and that they put a lot of effort, time, and fact-checking into this. On a similar note, the population of participants was a good pool. They took a variety of participants from multiple different studies, but they also narrowed down the chosen studies by only including the ones that focused on an individuality basis in regard to the participants.
The experimental steps chosen were a good choice to collect data. It was reviewed by two people who individually assessed the information and held all of it to the same standard – wither it was reliable and relevant or not. They took the relevant information and research, and complied it into an Academic Journal. But it was the objective nature and the steps taken to avoid bias tampering the results that made all of the research so reliable.
The conclusion – that one set standard of breast cancer screening or treatment will not work for everyone – is the answer to our question. And it is important to know that different options can be assessed for each person. This conclusion matches the results; that breast cancer screening is important and should be considered, but it has to be determined on an individual basis. Limitations of this study are that, because this is so broad a subject in relation to individuals, there is no direct answer. Everyone has to do their own research and can't just cite studies to make their decision.
The remaining question is, however, how does this apply to the rest of us? There is a level of relevance for everyone; anyone could get breast cancer, or have a loved one who has it, and no matter the situation, it's important to know when you should go in for screening and what your options are if you, or a loved one, ever does get cancer.
It could make a difference for healthcare practioners because when they recommend breast cancer screening to individuals they need knew which patients are more at-risk and what factors should determine when and what methods they use for screening. Some patients could need screening much sooner, and practioners need to know what flags to look for to determine needing it earlier. It could also make a difference to patients when their doctors can explain why they, should have screening, according to the patient as an individual, so they are not worried and know it's a precaution, and so that they understand why it's important.
It's important to Anatomy and Physiology education because it needs to be taught properly so that students know not to put every person under the same umbrella, because that could lead to mistakes – and sometimes, very harmful ones. When teaching prospective healthcare professionals, we need to make sure they are taught correctly so they can practice in a safe, proper, up-to-date way, and again, make sure to treat people as individuals.
It's also important for students see this research so that they have reliable evidence to treat future patients as individuals rather than them all being the same, knowing what to look for and when to recommend breast cancer screening to patients. Because of this, teachers need to know this information so they can accurately present it to their students. If teachers are not informed, students won't be. And if students are not, future professionals will not be as clear and careful as they need to be.
As for myself, personally, this information is crucial for me to be aware of so that – when I do need breast cancer screening – I can make the best decision for me with the help of my doctor. It's also important that I know this for when I work in the Radiology field, to know the patients I could potentially be screening will be different, to be sure to know their history, knowing what factors make someone higher-risk. I also have family members who have had breast cancer who I now can understand more about them through this.
Knowing this can also impact my learning, as I can now see the importance of all of it. It's also always important to have all of the appropriate information, especially when it could effect the lives of others who are relying on you to take care of them. As for others, how this impacts them may be different, but I would hope that everyone would consider looking at all of this material through non-bias eyes. And to learn that we cannot assume everyone is the same in any regard; not this, or in any other aspect of life.
Roman, Marta. “Personalized breast cancer screening strategies: A systematic review and quality assessment.” PloS ONE. December 16, 2019, Vol. 14 Issue 12, p1-18. 18p. http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxyness.helmlib.org/ehost/detail/detail?vid=8&sid=79e541f1- 40dc-40dc-a2b0-58dc7fda7360%40sdc-v- sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=140382423&db=aph
Sala, Domingo, Posso, Louro, Castells.
(Linkr messes with the format, so I apologize for any confusion or weird fonts/paragraph indentation or lack of it. Especially with the citation. I really did try to fix it! Have a great week!)