New study raises questions on when women should get mammograms
Posted at: 09/09/2013 4:43 PM
| Updated at: 09/09/2013 5:17 PM
By: Lia Lando | WHEC.com
A new report from Harvard University is re-igniting an intense debate over when women should get mammograms.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded in 2009 that most women do not need to start regular mammograms until age 50. But according to the new study from Harvard Medical School, earlier is better and the guidelines should be changed.
Researchers looked at more than 600 women who died from breast cancer. They found half were under 50-years-old and two-thirds had no history of a mammogram or went more than two years in between screenings. Researchers say it appears breast cancer that strikes younger women is more aggressive.
Dr. Avice O'Connell from Highland Breast Imaging says the important things about this study is that a lot of the women who died did not have mammograms.
Dr. O'Connell said, "We all know it's a lot better for everybody. The smaller the cancer, the better the results and so if there are only two ways to find breast cancer, one being you feel it and the other being before you feel it, we'd like to emphasis that screening mammography gives women a better chance of having the cancer found before it is too big."
Some experts say regular mammograms in young women could lead to over diagnosis, finding things that are not cancer and causing unnecessary anxiety. While there are different opinions, experts do agree on this, it's important to talk to your doctor about what's best for you.