Research in BreastScreen Norway

Research projects in BreastScreen Norway covers a wide range of topics. The overall aim is to increase our knowlegde about mammographic screening and improve the screening programme.
Last updated: 1/18/2021

A number of research projects are ongoing in BreastScreen Norway. Below you can read more about some of these. You will also find information about a questionnaire survey, Q-2006, in which over 600,000 women from BreastScreen Norway participated.

Machine learning to assist radiologists in BreastScreen Norway

A research project aimed at investigating advantages and disadvantages of integrating a machine learning system for automatic interpretation of screening mammograms in BreastScreen Norway. Read more.

Tomosynthesis - the future screening tool for breast cancer?

The tomosynthesis studies in Bergen, the To-Be studies, are aimed at investigating whether screening with digital breast tomosynthesis is a better screening tool than standard digital mammography for BreastScreen Norway. Read more.

Effectivness of tomosynthesis in breast cancer screening

An international study that will investigate whether tomosynthesis is a better screening technique for breast cancer than standard digital mammography. Read more.

Over- and underdiagnosis in BreastScreen Norway

A PhD project will investigate aspects of over- and underdiagnosis in BreastScreen Norway. The goal of the project is to add to what is known about the potential harms of mammographic screening. Read more.

Breast compression in BreastScreen Norway

This PhD-project focus on the radiographic issues of mammographic screening, and aims to investigate how breast compression is performed in clinical practice of breast cancer screening today. Read more.

Machine learning in BreastScreen Norway

- A research project aimed at improving the efficiency and quality of the national screening program – BreastScreen Norway - by combining automatic image analysis and radiological expertise. Read more.

How likely are benign breast disease and premalignant lesions to progress to invasive breast cancer?

This postdoc project will estimate the risk of developing invasive breast cancer among Norwegian women with prior benign breast disease or premalignant breast lesions, and study risk factors for progression. Read more .'

Long-term effects following treatment of screen-detected versus symptomatic breast cancer

In this postdoctoral project, we will investigate whether the long-term quality of life among breast cancer survivors is better in women with breast cancer detected by screening mammography compared to women with breast cancer detected due to symptoms. Read more.

Q 2006: An epidemiological questionnaire

In the period August 1, 2006 to December 31, 2015, an epidemiological questionnaire was sent to women in the target group of BreastScreen Norway. The form was sent together with the invitation for breast cancer screening.

The questionnaire consisted of two parts: Part 1, Health conditions before the age of 50, and Part 2, Present health conditions. Part 1 was answered only once by each woman. The questions in this section deal with demographic variables and health indicators that generally do not change over time, such as country of birth, age at first birth, number of births, breastfeeding, age at menopause, physical activity and other lifestyle factors from different ages, before the age of 50.

Part 2, Present health conditions, dealt with conditions that can change over time and was sent out with each invitation. This form deals with, among other things, weight, height, use of hormones, menstrual status, physical activity and other lifestyle factors.

An information sheet about the questionnaire was also attached to the letter.

More than 600,000 women have submitted one or more questionnaires, and a total of about 1,700,000 forms have been collected. Just under 400,000 women have submitted part 1 of the questionnaire and just over 500,000 have submitted at least one copy of part 2.

In 2018, a study was conducted that analyzed the validity of certain questions. Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) were calculated for self-reported screening history, and previous breast cancer (1). In addition, the reliability of self-reported weight and height among those who had answered these questions at two different screening attendances, was analyzed. Sensitivity and specificity for self-reported breast cancer history were> 96%, and sensitivity and PPV for screening history were 99% and 97%, respectively. Self-reported weight and height showed good reliability, with a difference of 1 kg and 1 cm in the two reports, respectively.

The data we have from the questionnaire contains a lot of useful information about women's health over a 10-year period. Weight and height can be used to calculate BMI, which is very important to consider in relation to mammographic density.

Below is a selected list of scientific publications that have used data from the questionnaires.

  1. Tsuruda KM, Sagstad S, Sebuodegard S, Hofvind S. Validity and reliability of self-reported health indicators among women attending organized mammographic screening. Scand J Public Health. 2018;46(7):744-51.
  2. Ellingjord-Dale M, Vos L, Hjerkind KV, Hjartaker A, Russnes HG, Tretli S, et al. Alcohol, Physical Activity, Smoking, and Breast Cancer Subtypes in a Large, Nested Case-Control Study from the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2017;26(12):1736-44.
  3. Ellingjord-Dale M, Vos L, Tretli S, Hofvind S, Dos-Santos-Silva I, Ursin G. Parity, hormones and breast cancer subtypes - results from a large nested case-control study in a national screening program. Breast cancer research : BCR. 2017;19(1):10.
  4. Ellingjord-Dale M, Vos L, Vik Hjerkind K, Hjartaker A, Russnes HG, Tretli S, et al. Number of Risky Lifestyle Behaviors and Breast Cancer Risk. JNCI cancer spectrum. 2018;2(3):pky030.
  5. Hjerkind KV, Ellingjord-Dale M, Johansson ALV, Aase HS, Hoff SR, Hofvind S, et al. Volumetric Mammographic Density, Age-Related Decline, and Breast Cancer Risk Factors in a National Breast Cancer Screening Program. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2018;27(9):1065-74.
  6. Moshina N, Sebuodegard S, Lee CI, Akslen LA, Tsuruda KM, Elmore JG, et al. Automated Volumetric Analysis of Mammographic Density in a Screening Setting: Worse Outcomes for Women with Dense Breasts. Radiology. 2018;288(2):343-52.
  7. Moshina N, Sebuodegard S, Holen AS, Waade GG, Tsuruda K, Hofvind S. The impact of compression force and pressure at prevalent screening on subsequent re-attendance in a national screening program. Prev Med. 2018;108:129-36.
  8. Moshina N, Sebuodegard S, Hofvind S. Is breast compression associated with breast cancer detection and other early performance measures in a population-based breast cancer screening program? Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017;163(3):605-13.
  9. Moshina N, Roman M, Waade GG, Sebuodegard S, Ursin G, Hofvind S. Breast compression parameters and mammographic density in the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Programme. Eur Radiol. 2018;28(4):1662-72.
  10. Holen A, Sebuodegard S, Waade GG, Aase H, Hopland NM, Pedersen K, et al. Screening at stationary versus mobile units in BreastScreen Norway. Journal of medical screening. 2020;27(1):31-9.
    Larsen M, Moshina N, Sagstad S, Hofvind S. Factors associated with attendance and attendance patterns in a population-based mammographic screening program. Journal of medical screening. 2020;In press.
  11. Bjelland EK, Hofvind S, Byberg L, Eskild A. The relation of age at menarche with age at natural menopause: a population study of 336 788 women in Norway. Human reproduction (Oxford, England). 2018;33(6):1149-57.
  12. Gottschalk MS, Eskild A, Hofvind S, Gran JM, Bjelland EK. Temporal trends in age at menarche and age at menopause: a population study of 312 656 women in Norway. Human reproduction (Oxford, England). 2020;35(2):464-71.
  13. Bjelland EK, Gran JM, Hofvind S, Eskild A. The association of birthweight with age at natural menopause: a population study of women in Norway. International journal of epidemiology. 2019.
  14. Sandvei MS, Vatten LJ, Bjelland EK, Eskild A, Hofvind S, Ursin G, et al. Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: effect modification by body mass through life. European journal of epidemiology. 2019;34(3):267-78.