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According to a European study, it was found that out of every 1000 females between the age groups of 50 to 70 who opt for a mammogram once in every 2 years, 7 to 9 lives will be saved.


By: armanksa (87 month(s) ago)

nice information

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MAMMOGRAMS Benefits outweigh the Risks

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According to a European study, it was found that out of every 1000 females between the age groups of 50 to 70 who opt for a mammogram once in every 2 years, 7 to 9 lives will be saved. For this same number of females, there could be 4 cases of over diagnosis and one breast cancer is detected , which would have otherwise gone undetected during the lifetime.

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The importance of periodic screening mammograms has always been a cause of debate, as there are some doubts over the results and their real life implications. It is also suggested by the U.S Preventive Services Tax Force that the routine screening for breast cancer should be recommended to women at the age of 50, not 40, especially for the ones at the risk of developing the disease. These recommended changes, however, remain controversial and are not universally adopted.

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As far as the latest reports are concerned, the American Medical Association, The American College of Radiology, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The National Cancer Institute and several other cancer study and research centers have issues specific guidelines stating that women over the age of 40 are eligible for routine mammograms.

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Due to the increasing number of questions and doubts over mammograms and its value for routine screening, specialists in Europe have formed a network that will review studies related to mammograms and create a balance sheet determining the advantages and disadvantages of mammogram screenings. The balance sheet can be used by females for helping them decide whether they should go for a mammogram or not. It is imperative to know that the study did not include women in the age group of 40s.

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In order to develop this balance sheet, researchers figured out the risk of breast cancer among women in Europe between the age group of 50 and 80, starting from 1985-86, before the implementation of routine mammogram screening. It was found that only 6.7 percent of women were diagnosed with breast cancer of which 3 percent would die.

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There have been several cases of false positive reports from mammogram screening, which fueled the debate about the importance of screening. When mammogram reports show an abnormal part, which looks just like cancer, but it’s not; it is known as false positive. While the ultimate answer is – no cancer, it is important to take a second opinion and go for further screening, and even a biopsy .

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There are physical, psychological as well as economic costs involved in false positive. During research, however, it was pointed out that they were not sure as to how much diagnosis contributes to early detection. When the most common type of breast cancer is concerned, which is DCIS that affects the milk duct and does not spread beyond it; it is likely that the condition will be detected early with routine mammogram.

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Women over 40 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, and yearly mammogram screening should be included in their healthcare routine. If the risk of breast cancer is more than average in any case, may be due to genetic factors, it is important to talk to the doctor regarding an aggressive screening and treatment.

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