The Pros And Cons Of Skipping Mammograms

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According to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, nearly 1.7 million cases have been diagnosed since 2012. It is the second most common cancer in men and women worldwide. 40, 290 women and 440 men will fall victims to it in 2015. Thanks to organizations like this awareness is now being brought to the subject. More people are taking getting screened seriously. It is recommended to start yearly mammograms around age 40. For women over 50 skipping mammograms every other year would still lead missing up to 30% of cancers. Mammography is a very important key in the diagnosis that could save numerous lives, but there is several controversies we will be discussing that comes along with it.
A mammogram is simply an x-ray of the breast. There are
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Age plays a big role in risk factor. As men and women age the breast tissue’s density decreases. Therefore X-rays shoot all the way through the body. The goal is to have most x-rays beams leave the body. If you are younger and your breast tissue is denser the x-rays are less likely to pass through the tissue. “It has been shown that the risk of the tumor induction is proportional to the dose of radiation absorbed in the breast.”2 More unfavorable effects of mammography include; “false negative results with women presenting with interval cancers, false positive interpretations causing unnecessary recalls, over diagnosis with overtreatment, and radiation exposure with the risk of radiation induced cancers have received much attention during the last decades.”3 There are new techniques that have been introduced to improve diagnostic performance, but the disadvantage is an increase in radiation dose. An example of a new technique is digital breast tomosynthesis. DBT would be used to eliminate superimposed tissue and therefor increase detection of lesions that would normally be …show more content…
There is no denying the fact that there are certain risks associated with mammography, “the benefit to risk ratio proves that the testing has a higher chance of saving your life than causing the initial problem.”2 “Cancers caused by radiation cannot be differentiated from spontaneously occurring malignancies”5 “Our study demonstrated that the risk of radiation induced breast cancer due to mammography screening is small. Biennial screening between ages 50-74 was predicted to cause 7.7 breast cancers and 1.6 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women aged 0-100, but also prevent 1121 breast cancer deaths. This indicated that the radiation risks of regular mammography are negligible.”2 “Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed noncutaneous cancer among women in the United States where it is only second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths.”6 This test has been proven to save numerous live, and now we must find a favorable balance of benefits and harms. There are so many benefits to mammography. Early detection of cancer means that you can start treatment before it spreads further into tissue. Mammography has helped reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by nearly 1/3 since

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