More worrisome mammogram news
There's more cautionary news about mammograms: Young women at high risk for breast cancer actually may be increasing their chances of contracting the disease by getting annual mammograms, according to a new analysis.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a federally appointed panel of experts, set off a huge debate recently by recommending that most women could wait until they turn 50 before starting to undergo routine mammograms and could get them every other year instead of annually.
The panel concluded that routinely seeking mammograms earlier and more often wasn't worth the harm caused by false alarms. While many experts and breast cancer advocates welcomed the new guidelines, they came under heavy criticism from some, including the American Cancer Society.
Now, Marijke C. Jansen-van der Weide, an epidemiologist at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues report the results of an analysis of the medical literature to determine whether low-dose radiation exposure affects the breast cancer risk among high-risk women.
Of 47 articles found on the subject, six were included in the analysis. Four looked at the effect of exposure of low-dose radiation among women who had genes that put them at risk for breast cancer, and two looked at the effect of radiation on women with a famiy history of breast cancer.
The researchers found that among high-risk women, low-dose radiation exposure increased the risk of breast cancer by about 50 percent. It was especially high among the youngest women--those who were exposed before age 20 had more than double the risk, the researchers reported at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.
The researchers cautioned that the analysis was based on a relatively small sample and needs to be interpreted carefully. And the findings don't necessarily mean that women at high risk of contracting breast cancer should not get mammograms.
But the results provide more evidence that women should discuss the decision about when and how often to get mammograms with their doctors so they can carefully weigh the risks and benefits, the researchers say.
Posted by: ad4hk2004 | December 2, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jerkhoff | December 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: RedBird27 | December 2, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Arggg | December 2, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sjneal | December 2, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.