Younger women benefit from mammography

Thursday 26th April 2012
Source: Thinkstock
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    Mammography is more beneficial for women in their 40s than older age groups, according to research by the University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

    The treatment is a routine scan to identify any potential cancerous tumours in patients and the team at UH found that those women between the age 40 and 49 responded better to a mammogram. During a series of studies the team found that those who underwent the screening, as opposed to other methods of diagnostic uptake, were more likely to be diagnosed if they had a small tumour earlier compared to the other form.

    With breast cancer being a prevalent disease within women in this age bracket it is important that doctors and those in UK medical jobs are able to identify tumours earlier so that treatment can begin immediately. The UH researchers believe that these latest findings make it imperative that women aged between 40 and 49 undergo annual mammograms just to ensure that they have no underlying cancer problem that may have gone unnoticed for long periods and could require immediate treatment.

    Dr Donna Plecha, the study's lead author, said: "Our findings clearly underscore the impact of neglecting to screen women with mammography for women in their 40s. Annual screening mammograms starting at the age of 40 saves lives. Breast cancers caught in the initial stages by mammography are more likely to be cured and are less likely to require chemotherapy or as extensive surgery."

    According to NHS statistics, breast cancer is the most common form of the disease in the UK among women with 46,000 cases diagnosed every year. On average, eight in ten of those are over the age of 50 and the cancer can sometimes be spotted too late leading to increased intensive treatment that may not always be successful.

    The UH believes that more screenings earlier in life can help women reduce their chances of developing large tumours that could be untreatable.

    written by Angela NewburyADNFCR-1780-ID-801350573-ADNFCR

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