Since mammography screening first became widely available in the 1980s, mammograms have become invaluable tools in the fight against breast cancer. Today, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women age 45 and older receive annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer. Furthermore, women of all ages who notice any changes in the look or feel of their breasts during self-examinations are advised to get mammograms as well.
It’s no secret that mammograms play an essential role in modern breast cancer prevention efforts, but a recent study published in the journal Cancer is shedding new light on just how effective these screenings really are.
This study tracked 25 years’ worth of data on breast cancer deaths, in addition to general health data, on U.S. women aged 40 to 84. Based on this data, the researchers estimate that between 1989 and 2018, mammogram screenings prevented anywhere from 384,000 to 614,500 breast cancer deaths.
“Our study provides evidence of just how effective the combination of early detection and modern breast cancer treatment have been in averting breast cancer deaths,” says study author R. Edward Hendrick of the University of Colorado’s school of medicine in Denver.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alice Police of the Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, NY hailed the study’s findings as well.
“…The biggest factor in literally centuries to lower the mortality rate from this devastating and extremely common disease is the humble screening mammogram,” said Police in a statement. “Nothing else in detection or treatment has even come close.”
It’s important to note, however, that despite the fact that mammography is so effective at preventing breast cancer deaths, only about half of U.S. women over the age of 40 receive regular mammograms. To learn more about the benefits of mammography and what to expect during a mammogram screening, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today!