Recent Studies Refute Evidence Behind Mammography Guidelines

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Two studies in the Journal of Roentgenology this month that take aim at studies that led to relaxed breast cancer screening guidelines in recent years.

One study provides a new estimate for the number of women aged 40-49 that need to be screened in order to spot a case of breast cancer.

The article estimates that number to be 40% less than determined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009. Those estimates led to recommendation that women may not need a mammogram until age 50 and that even then it can be performed every other year.

The other study found that radiation risk to the thyroid is negligible and that, “thyroid shielding during mammography is unnecessary and may increase retakes rather than afford radiation protection of the thyroid,” according to the abstract.

Both studies were authored by members of the American College of Radiology, which featured the studies in a press release yesterday.