New study backs mammograms at 40

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS; November 29, 2011

Two years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that routine screening begin at 50, not 40, unless there is a family history of breast cancer.

However, after reviewing the records of her patients, a New York doctor says screening picked up just as many invasive tumors in women WITHOUT a family history among 40 to 49-year-old patients.

Of the 1,071 patients in the 40-49 age group with breast cancer, 373 were diagnosed as a result of screening mammograms. Of that 373, 39 per cent had a family history of breast cancer, but 61 per cent had no family history.

Even though the government recommended raising the age for regular mammograms from 40 to 50, most medical groups and insurance companies haven't gone along with it.

Dr. Destounis presented the study at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

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