Breast cancer is a serious illness that affects one in eight women a year. This staggering statistic highlights the importance of regular screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends that women start getting annual mammograms once they turn 40. The earlier doctors detect breast cancer in a patient, the better that woman’s chance of beating the disease.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal discovered that mammograms are an effective breast cancer detection method. The study revealed that screenings can reduce breast cancer deaths by 28 percent. That means that for every 10,000 women invited to get a mammogram (not all choose to have one), the screening may save the lives of 27 women. While researchers call the results “modest at best,” the 28 percent is still significant enough for doctors to recommend mammograms to their patients.
However, mammograms may not be for everybody. “Getting a mammogram is something that women should be given a choice about,” Russell Harris of the University of North Carolina, who co-authored an editorial that accompanied the study, told the Associated Press. “It’s reasonable to decide not to do it.”
Many doctors believe that advances in medical technology will offer alternatives to mammogram screenings over the next few years. Until then, women should seek early detection options, such as self-exams and mammograms.
Wondering whether you should get a mammogram or not? Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and which options may make the most sense for you.Whizzco