False-positive recall is an issue in national screening programmes. The aim of this study is to investigate the recall rate at first screen and to identify potential predictors of false-positive recall in a multi-ethnic Asian population-based breast cancer screening programme.
Women aged 50–64 years attending screening mammography for the first time (n = 25,318) were included in this study. The associations between potential predictors (sociodemographic, lifestyle and reproductive) and false-positive recall were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression models.
The recall rate was 7.6% (n = 1,923), of which with 93.8% were false-positive. Factors independently associated with higher false-positive recall included Indian ethnicity (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.52 [1.25 to 1.84]), premenopause (1.23 [1.04 to 1.44]), nulliparity (1.85 [1.57 to 2.17]), recent breast symptoms (1.72 [1.31 to 2.23]) and history of breast lump excision (1.87 [1.53 to 2.26]). Factors associated with lower risk of false-positive recall included older age at screen (0.84 [0.73 to 0.97]) and use of oral contraceptives (0.87 [0.78 to 0.97]). After further adjustment of percent mammographic density, associations with older age at screening (0.97 [0.84 to 1.11]) and menopausal status (1.12 [0.95 to 1.32]) were attenuated and no longer significant.
For every breast cancer identified, 15 women without cancer were subjected to further testing. Efforts to educate Asian women on what it means to be recalled will be useful in reducing unnecessary stress and anxiety.