Most Women Who Get Yearly Mammograms Will Face A False Alarm
Of women whoِ getِ yearly mammograms, 61 percent willِ haveِ atِ least oneِ false-positive result overِ a decade, a newِ study shows.
And becauseِ of theseِ ‘false alarm’ test results — whichِ seemِ to indicateِ cancer butِ further tests reveal notِ to beِ tumors —7 toِ 9 percent ofِ women willِ beِ recommended toِ getِ a biopsy.
If women areِ instead screened everyِ other year, onlyِ 42 percent willِ haveِ a false positive overِ a decade, butِ this lengthened screening interval brings a small increased risk ofِ gettingِ a later-stage cancer diagnosis, theِ study showed.
The topic ofِ howِ often women shouldِ getِ mammograms andِ at whatِ age theyِ shouldِ start hasِ beenِ controversial.
The American Cancer Society recommends allِ women withِ average risk ofِ breast cancer getِ a yearly mammogram starting atِ age 40, andِ the National Cancer Institute recommends women age 40 andِ older getِ a mammogram everyِ year orِ two.
Preventive Services Task Force issued newِ recommendations inِ 2009 thatِ women shouldِ wait untilِ age 50 toِ beginِ the screening, andِ should haveِ a mammogram everyِ other year, citing false detections, andِ the unnecessary biopsies andِ anxiety theyِ canِ bring.
Mammograms are going digital
A secondِ study compared digital mammograms withِ theِ older technology, film mammograms.
Digital mammograms areِ increasingly beingِ used, theِ researchers said.
That study included data nearlyِ 330,000 women betweenِ the ages ofِ 40 andِ 79, alsoِ from theِ Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.