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Ask the Expert: Why should younger women get mammograms?

Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014, 04:59 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A study released in the Journal Cancer lends more support for mammography in younger women.
 
Researchers in the study compared the difference in diagnosis of breast cancer 30 years ago, before mammography, to what is found currently.  The result?

"We are finding more, but it's early, and we can do something about it," said radiologist Doctor Angela Beckes.  She said that simply gives women options they otherwise might not have.

In the study even when they adjusted for other factors that contribute to more breast cancer discovery, it was found those who had mammography earlier were able to find breast cancer at earlier stages.  That proved to be the critical part to saving lives.

Even when you consider a rise in rates due to changes in the environment, reproductive health concerns, genetics and obesity, mammography was the best for early detection.  There was a 37 percent decrease in late stage breast cancer diagnosis compared to 30 years ago.

"These women that we are finding breast cancer in are in their 30's and 40's.  They are school teachers, TV people, moms.  They have twins, they have 1-year-old babies; these are young people," said Dr. Beckes.

People that might otherwise never have known they have breast cancer without getting mammograms early and not delayed.  Doctor Beckes suggested to ask your doctor when to start regular
mammography.  Those who have a family history often start before age 40.


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