Women Age 40 Should Get Mammograms, Study Says

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon

New research presented at this year’s RSNA conference suggests that women in their 40s should in fact receive mammography screening even if they have no family history of breast cancer despite current U.S. guidelines to the contrary.

The report, which has not been peer reviewed yet, comes amid guidelines by Canada’s Task Force on Preventive Medicine issued in November that said mammograms for women under 50 with no family history of breast cancer could do more harm than good, the Canadian task force said.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force sparked controversy in 2009 when it issued a similar guideline. However, the American Cancer Society still advises women over 40 to receive annual mammograms, saying the conservative approach “misses 75 percent of cancers in women 40-49 and up to a third of cancers in women 50-74,” based on a statement released after the Canadian advisory came out.

The research presented last week at RSNA 2011 examined 1,071 cases of breast cancer over the past 10 years at Elisabeth Wende Breast Cancer, LLC in New York. Out of those, 373 were detected from screening.

“Invasive cancer was diagnosed in 64% of cases presenting without family history and 63% with family history. The lymph node metastatic rate was similar at 29% without and 31% with family history,” according to the abstract.

To view the abstract of the study presented at RSNA titled Comparison of Breast Cancers Diagnosed in Screening Patients Aged 40-49 with and without Family History go to the meeting program here.