Study finds mammography beneficial for younger women

April 26, 2012, University Hospitals Case Medical Center

Researchers from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have published new findings that mammography remains beneficial for women in their 40s. According to a study published in the May issue of American Journal of Roentgenology, women between ages 40 and 49 who underwent routine screening mammography were diagnosed at earlier stages with smaller tumors than symptomatic women needing diagnostic workup.

The paper comes on the heels of the United States Preventive Services Task Force's guidelines from November 2009 recommending against annual screening mammography for between the ages of 40 and 49. In contrast, the , American College of Radiology and other professional societies recommend annual exams beginning at age 40.

"Our findings clearly underscore the impact of neglecting to screen women with mammography for women in their 40s," says the study's senior author Donna Plecha, MD, Director of at UH Case Medical Center and Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Foregoing mammography for women in this age group as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force leads to diagnoses of later stage breast cancers. We continue to support screening mammography in women between the ages of 40 and 49 years."

In the study titled Neglecting to Screen Women Between the Ages of 40 and 49 Years With Mammography: What is the Impact on Breast Cancer Diagnosis? the authors compared breast at diagnosis in two groups of women between 40 and 49 years old: women undergoing screening mammography and women with a symptom needing diagnostic workup.

The researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of 108 primary breast cancers and found that patients undergoing were diagnosed at earlier stages with smaller tumors. They also found that screening allows detection of high-risk lesions, which may prompt chemoprevention and lower subsequent breast cancer risk.

Breast cancer is a significant health problem and statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop the disease in her lifetime. The stage at which the cancer is discovered influences a woman's chance of survival and annual mammography after the age of 40 enables physicians to identify the smallest abnormalities. In fact, when is detected early and confined to the breast, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent.

"Annual screening mammograms starting at the age of 40 saves lives," says Dr. Plecha. "Breast cancers caught in the initial stages by are more likely to be cured and are less likely to require chemotherapy or as extensive surgery." First author of the study is Mallory E. Kremer. Co-authors are: Catherine Downs-Holmes, Ronald D. Novak, Janice A. Lyons, Paula Silverman and Ramya M. Pham.

Explore further: New study supports mammography screening at 40

Related Stories

New study supports mammography screening at 40

November 29, 2011
Women in their 40s with no family history of breast cancer are just as likely to develop invasive breast cancer as are women with a family history of the disease, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting ...

New studies show negative effects from revised mammography recommendation for women, ages 40-49

May 2, 2011
Two new studies reveal that the United States Preventative Services Task Force's (USPSTF) recommendation to no longer screen women ages 40-49 for breast cancer using mammograms has begun to negatively affect the number of ...

ACR, SBI support updated ACOG recommendations that women begin annual mammograms at age 40

July 20, 2011
The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging applaud and support updated American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) recommendations that women begin getting annual mammograms at age ...

Mammography-detected breast cancer in 40-49 year-olds has better prognosis

February 22, 2012
Based on a study of nearly 2,000 breast cancer patients, researchers at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle say that, in women between the ages of 40 and 49, breast cancers detected by mammography have a better prognosis. ...

Recommended for you

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Researchers develop swallowable test to detect pre-cancerous Barrett's esophagus

January 17, 2018
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center have developed a simple, swallowable test for early detection of Barrett's esophagus that offers promise ...

Scientists zoom in to watch DNA code being read

January 17, 2018
Scientists have unveiled incredible images of how the DNA code is read and interpreted—revealing new detail about one of the fundamental processes of life.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.