Attending Each Mammogram Appointment Linked with 72% Lower Breast Cancer Death Rate

Mammograms are a good way to catch breast cancer early, when it’s more apt to be treatable. A new study aimed to see how regularly attending these appointments impacts survival, and the findings provide even more evidence of the importance of this screening tool.

Research recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held in Chicago from June 2 through the 6, showed that getting all recommended mammograms was linked with a 72% lower risk of dying from breast cancer.

Middle-aged female patient speaking with female doctor

The data was drawn from more than 37,000 Swedish women between the ages of 40 and 69 who had received between one and five invitations for screenings. They were all also diagnosed with breast cancer between 1992 and 2016. Of them, 4,564 ultimately died of the disease. The researchers examined the screening history and survival of all those diagnosed to determine how screening impacted survival rates.

In addition to those who received all five screenings having a 72% lower risk of death from breast cancer, there was also a progressively lower risk for each mammogram that was undergone, compared to those who did not get any of the recommended screenings.

The researchers say these findings show that the importance of regular screening should be clearly stated in messaging and decision aids on the topic.

Female patient speaking with young female doctor

Robert Smith, study co-author and senior vice president for early cancer detection science at the American Cancer Society, says, “It is quite common for women to not receive their mammography exams on time, or they need to reschedule, and that extends the time between the most recent mammogram and the next one… if a woman has developed breast cancer, these delays can contribute to being diagnosed with advanced disease and may be life-threatening.”

The study comes on the heels of a guideline change from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which has lowered their recommended age for beginning mammograms to 40.

Middle-aged woman getting mammogram and looking to the side
Provide Mammograms

Support those fighting Breast Cancer at The Breast Cancer Site for free!