Should All Women Have Routine Mammography Screenings

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The correct answer is still uncertain. A team of researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research in London tracked 160,900 women for an average of 11 years. The participants were divided into two groups: Women in study group were offered annual mammography screenings beginning at age 40, while those in the control group were offered annual screenings beginning at age 50.

Deaths resulting from breast cancer one of several younger women decreased by only 17 percent, a figure considered by researchers to be not statistically significant. However, the study also found that in this group of women 23 percent had at least one false-positive result, likened to 12 percent of older women. (A false-positive result can be an irregularity in the screening process that later turns out not to be breast cancer.)

Regular screening also increases the chance of radiation-induced breast cancer, a risk a lot of endocrinologists believe outweighs the benefit in a percentage of a woman.

The researchers figured that annual mammography screenings remain too uncertain to conclude that a net benefit accrues to women inside of below 50 age-group.
Another study conducted by researchers at France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, or INSERM), discovered that chest X-rays seem to raise the chance breast cancer in women with the breast cancer gene mutations BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Researchers studied 1,601 European and Canadian women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which greatly increase possible risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The group included 853 women with breast cancer tumor.

The results show the women who reported having chest X-rays were 54% more likely have got breast cancer, compared with those who reported having no chest X-rays. That outcome was more prevalent among women close to 40 years old and those who reported having had chest X-rays before age 20.

According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's web site, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are carried by an estimated 250,000 women from the U.S. These inherited gene mutations keep track of 5 to ten % of breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. A woman's odds of developing breast cancer, if she lives towards age of 85, are about 13 percent if he has no BRCA2 mutation, 60 to 80 % if a woman has a BRCA1 mutation, and 30 to 85 percent if she does have a BRCA2 mutation.

It is known that radiation exposure can increase possible risk of cancer. However, it should be noted that X-rays typically use low levels of radiation will be generally considered safe. It is also known that the younger the age initially exposure to radiation the greater risking potential breast cancer.

The timing of exposure can be as important for the reason that dose. When exposure occurs during period of greater cell growth of the breast, vulnerability on the cancer-causing effects of radiation is accelerated. Even in older women who are still having a menstrual cycle, the timing of exposure is very important. The cumulative dose as with annual mammography screenings starting below age 40 in a female with the cancer of the breast gene mutations BRCA1 or BRCA2 significantly increases the threat.

Breast cancer takes years to develop from the first genetic event or exposure to the idea when a lump is seen on the mammogram or felt during a breast exam. It may happen that the initial genetic damage can offer occurred very early in life. It is actually difficult to pinpoint when the initiating event was held.

Although the medical establishment takes to stop exposing a woman who might be pregnant to X-rays, a woman requirements avoid having a mammography screening in the end of a menstrual cycle because that's period when the breast cells are reproducing most rapidly.

Since young women and women who are genetically at high-risk for breast cancer are more dealing with X-ray radiation, exposure to radiation should be limited and alternatives should be employed emergencies. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses imaging technology dissimilar to X-rays, could be a good alternative to X-rays and mammography.

It may be the responsibility of every woman determine for herself (after research) whether she should risk developing breast cancers as caused by routine mammography screenings or risk getting the complications of late-diagnosed breast cancer that may have been avoided if detected earlier by screening mammography.

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