Younger Women May Need Mammograms

With so many trustworthy organizations giving different advice, sometimes it can be difficult to sort out what the best recommendations are for your health. An important service that often falls into this category is the mammogram. Depending on the background of the organization, the recommendations may vary. The general consensus, though, is to begin regular screening once women reach age 50. This is based on the guidelines developed by the United States Preventative Services Task Force.

However, a recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School was published in the online journal Cancer. This study suggests that regular screening for breast cancer needs to begin at an earlier age. Through their research, the scientists discovered that 71 percent of women who were not screened died from breast cancer and that 50 percent of these deaths occurred in women under the age of 50. Because of the way that the cancer manifests itself in younger women, women under age 50 are at a higher risk of dying if it is not caught soon enough.

"The biological nature of breast cancer in young women is more aggressive, while breast cancer in older women tends to be more indolent. This suggests that less frequent screening in older women, but more frequent screening in younger women, may be more biologically based, practical, and cost effective," Dr. Blake Cady, the author of the study, said in a statement.

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