Mamograms – Good or Bad?

The opinions regarding whether mammograms are important when it comes to preventing breast cancer, are split. There are people who consider them to be essential, and there are people who are totally against them.

Risk of Cancer Reduced

However, according to a new Dutch study, women who participated to at least three mammograms had a 50 percent lower risk of developing a deadly form of breast cancer. The study also offered strong proof that the mammograms aided with the detection of tumors, when they were in the initial stages. As a result, the odds of the women of surviving increased. The Dutch reporters also stated that stage 4 tumors were found in 30 percent of the women who were never screened, but only in 5 percent of the ones who had at least a mammogram in the past.

Suzie Otto senior researcher with the department of public health at Rotterdam’s University Medical Center, stated that the study proved evidence that the mammography screenings reduce the mortality caused by breast cancer. She stated that this belief was shared by the majority of the clinics from the United States of America.

William Gradishar, M.D., a breast cancer expert with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, believes the same thing. He stated that women should get screenings periodically, because it is the best way of reducing the chances of developing cancer. Robert Smith, director of cancer screening at the American Cancer Society also praised the study done by the Dutch team of researchers, considering it a very careful analysis. He also stated that similar studies were done in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Australia, and that they revealed the same thing.

All of the studies revealed the fact that women who get screened have lower chances of suffering from breast cancer in an advanced state. If they undergo mammography screenings, they can start the treatment sooner, which increases their odds of survival. The study made by the Dutch was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. It was the largest study of this king in the Netherlands. Netherlands began a national screening program in 1989, for women older than 50. 8,369 women over 50 who suffered from breast cancer were included in the study. 755 of them died during the course of the study, between 1995 and 2003.

Mixed Opinions

It seems that women who had minimum 3 mammograms prior to being diagnosed had a 50 percent increased chance of surviving cancer. In the case of the women between 70 and 74, the chances were increased by 84 percent. The Dutch government allows any woman over 50 to get free mammograms, every two years. In the United States of America, many are questioning the benefits of mammograms. It is believed that the mammograms do not help the patients at all, and that the reason why they survived was because of chance.

It has even been proposed to limit the number of mammograms a woman can undergo, as some consider them to be dangerous for the health.

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