“Mammography can prevent deaths from breast cancer, but it’s not a perfect test.”
It misses some cancers, especially in women with dense breast tissue, and flags abnormalities for follow-up tests that turn out to be benign, among other issues. So there’s a lot of interest in additional tests that might make screening more accurate in women who have dense breasts. Many of those women may be wondering about extra screening after receiving notification letters saying that their mammogram was clean, but that their dense breasts put them at higher risk of cancer.
But there is no clear path for those women, who make up about 45 percent of women ages 40 to 74. The goal with breast imaging technology is not only to detect more cancers earlier, but to actually prevent deaths from breast cancer, says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. “That’s a very separate and different question,” he says. And so far, only mammography has met that standard, he says.
Read the full article: Do You Need Extra Screening For Breast Cancer? The Picture Is Blurry
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