Study questions benefits of yearly mammograms

By Michelle Kapusta,

Canadian researchers have published a study that has questioned the benefits of yearly mammogram screenings.

According to CNN, the researchers with the National Breast Screening Study conducted a 25-year follow-up with participants concluding that yearly mammograms do not pose any potential life-saving benefits compared with women who have skipped them. The study went on to state that 22 percent of cancers detected during screenings were over-diagnosed.

"Annual mammography in women aged 40 to 59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available," the study found.

The Boston Globe reported that the trial of approximately 90,000 women who were randomly assigned and screened or put in a control group, reached a conclusion that differs with previous studies, which found fewer breast cancer deaths among women who began screening at age 50 or younger.

CNN noted that both the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging said that the study published on Wednesday was "an incredibly misleading analysis based on the deeply flawed and widely discredited Canadian National Breast Screening Study."

Mammograms are a way to find breast changes that cannot be felt through routine breast exams. Anyone with concerns about the screenings should talk to their doctor about mammography limitations.



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