Stage at Diagnosis

Stage at diagnosis is another important outcome measure. Some would argue that stage is the most important outcome measure. This is because all the benefits of screening flow from a reduction at stage at diagnosis.

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Stage at diagnosis for women who undergo their screening at the North Valley Breast Clinic versus stage at diagnosis for women at in Shasta County not screened at the Clinic. Updated January, 2019


The addition of ultrasound and MRI to mammographic imaging at the Clinic results in a large reduction in stage at diagnosis. As shown above, there are significantly more early stage breast cancers and a corresponding lower number of women with advanced cancers diagnosed through our program. Of course, this is the result of a higher diagnostic yield. Any program that detects early stage breast cancers not seen on mammogram will also show a lower stage at diagnosis.

A lower stage at diagnosis is the whole point of screening. This is where all the planning, investment, and hard work pays off. Less cost. Less suffering. Better survival.