This paper extends that attention to first stage assessment, i.e. the first stage at which women are recalled for further investigation because of suspected lesions or other suspect film features, and prior to any biopsy.
Numbers of films, including magnification films, taken at this stage, have been established in two UK regions by different methods.
Average total mean glandular dose has been calculated using published data of dose per film from initial screening and a multiplying factor to allow for magnification film dose.
It is concluded that the benefit/risk ratio is considerably higher at first stage assessment than at initial screening by a factor of between 4 and 9, because of the very much higher cancer detection rate in this well-defined sub-group of women. Qualitatively, this conclusion is unaffected by the quite wide variation between screening centres in the numbers of films taken at first stage assessment.