Mammograms aren’t the answer: study

Increased awareness, treatment are best way to reduce breast cancer death rate

Women are now accustomed to getting mammograms to screen for breast cancer on a regular basis, often from their forties or fifties, but a new study suggests the mammogram might not have the benefits often associated with it. The first study to assess the benefit of mammography in the context of modern breast cancer treatment, it shows that improved treatments with hormonal therapy and other targeted drugs have reduced mammography’s benefits, since it’s now less important to find cancers too small to feel, the New York Times reports. Previous studies done when treatment was less effective, decades ago, found mammography reduced the breast cancer rate by up to 25 per cent, but in the new study, mammography combined with modern treatment reduced the death rate by 10 per cent. Still, the data showed that the effect of just mammographs might be 2 per cent, even zero per cent. Even a 10 per cent reduction is so small, it might have occurred by chance, they said. Still, experts continue to debate the benefits of mammography, with many advocating for it.

New York Times

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