admin - December 7, 2010
New research from the London Breast Institute was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). This new research indicates that having a yearly mammogram between the ages of 40-50 greatly reduces the risk of having a mastectomy following breast cancer diagnosis.
According to the RSNA press release, the focus group of the study consisted of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. When their treatment was evaluated by the researchers, it was found that those women who had mammograms in the earlier years were less likely to need a full mastectomy. In other words, they could benefit from less radical treatment techniques.
Quoted in this same press release is lead author, Nicholas M. Perry, MBBS, FRCS, FRCR, and director of the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital. Dr. Perry commented that, “Regular screening is already proven to lower the chance of women dying from breast cancer. The results of our study support the importance of regular screening in the under-50 age group and confirm that annual mammography improves the chances of breast conservation should breast cancer develop.”
The press release also discusses the recent events involving the government task force in the United States that recommended routine screening begin at age 50. You may remember that this recommendation was met with anger, incredulity and flat out rejection by many experts, including the American Cancer Society, which believes screening should begin at age 40. Many top-tiered hospitals are counseling patients to ignore the task force recommendations.
In the UK, the NHS Breast Screening Programme provides free breast screening every three years for all women ages 50 and over. There is an extension of this program being phased in to extend screening to women ages 47 to 73. This extension will be complete in 2012. 1
Controversy around screening, no matter the type, will continue. The best approach is to talk with your doctor, consider your risk factors and determine what you feel is right for you. Screening provides information. Some of that information may cause peace of mind, but it may also lead to some anxiety and additional medical testing. This follow-up may or may not find disease.
At Life Line Screening, we work hard to ensure that the types of screenings you receive from us are accurate, comfortable and affordable. We believe that early detection is the key to prevention. Whatever the findings of a screening, knowing where you stand is the key to mapping out your health in the future.
The actual RSNA press release can be found at: http://www.rsna.org/Media/rsna/RSNA10_newsrelease_target.cfm?id=519
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