Expanded Breast Cancer Screening Compliance Needed for Younger Women: Mammography in NYC

POSTED ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 09, 2013 AT 6:30 PM  by Dr. Marc Liebeskind

A new study published online September 9 in the journal  Cancer indicates that regular mammography screening significantly reduces breast cancer deaths- particularly in the 40-49 year age group.

Mammography plays a critical role in the early detection of breast cancer. The American Cancer SocietyAmerican Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists(ACOG), American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend annual screening mammography for women beginning at age 40. 

In the study, researchers tracked invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 and followed the patient cases through 2007 using failure analysis to investigate the value of mammography screening. Failure analysis is an analytical tool that examines a 'failure'- in this case a death from breast cancer- and why it occurred in order to discover correlations between the patients who died and whether they received breast screening. 

The study concluded that most deaths from breast cancer occur in unscreened women. To maximize mortality reduction and life-years gained, initiation of regular screening before age 50 years should be encouraged.

According to a statement released by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in conjunction with the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI), "the study, which involved 7,301 patients, found that 71 percent of confirmed breast cancer deaths occurred in the 20 percent of the study population that did not receive regular mammograms. The majority of those who died from breast cancer never had a mammogram prior to diagnosis. If treatment were the primary survival factor, deaths would not have been so prevalent among the non-screened group."

Among 609 confirmed breast cancer deaths, 29% were among women who had been screened with mammography, while 71% were among women who were not screened. Also, the women who died of breast cancer were younger: Of all breast cancer deaths, only 13% occurred in women age 70 or older, but 50% occurred in women younger than 50, according to AuntMinnie.com.

"'This study should effectively end confusion over when, and particularly if, women need to begin screening. Every year, breast cancer takes too many of our mothers, wives, sisters and friends. While these findings cannot bring back those already lost, they clearly demonstrate that mammography saves lives, and many more deaths can be avoided through regular screening,' said Murray Rebner, MD, FACR, president of the Society of Breast Imaging," -ACR, SBI Statement on Cancer Study: More Breast Cancer Screening Needed in Younger Women

All women should also perform monthly self breast examinations and have a clinical breast exam performed by their Gynecologist or Primary care Physician annually. 

To schedule your annual mammography in NYC with our expert radiologists at our Upper East Side facility, please contact our courteous personnel at 212-888-1000, scheduling@parkavenueradiologists.com, or schedule your exam online

  • Mammography should be scheduled after your period.
  • On the day of you procedure, do not wear any deodorant, talcum powder or lotion in the breast or underarm area.
  • Bring any prior mammography films you may have and give them to the technologists before your study begins.
  • Tell the technologist if you have implants or any pain, lumps, nipple discharge etc.
  • A letter will be sent to you informing you of your results and any necessary follow-up. Allow a week's time and contact your referring physician for instruction. 

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Mammography, NYC

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