At a time when breast cancers are becoming a common diseases in women, a study says the majority of deaths occur in younger women who do not have regular mammograms.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report says, there were more than 18.7 million mammograms ordered or provided in 2010. But contrarily the study brings a glaring exposure that there is a significant lack of mammography in women under the age of 50.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston conducted an analysis of the value of mammography screening, using a technique called “failure analysis.”
This technique evaluates breast cancer cases backward from death, in order to determine correlations at diagnosis, rather than looking forward from the beginning of a study.
The breast cancer cases that were diagnosed at Partners HealthCare Hospitals in Boston between 1990 and 1999 were considered for the study. Following factors were analyzed by the researchers about the patients: Demographics, Mammography use, Surgical and pathology reports, and recurrence and death dates.
Out of 609 confirmed deaths from breast cancer, only 29% of the women had been screened with mammography, while a glaring 71% were unscreened. Shockingly, of all the deaths, 50% occurred in women under the age of 50 and 13% in women over the age of 70.
Dr. Blake Cady, professor of surgery (emeritus) of Harvard Medical School, says, “The biological nature of breast cancer in young women is more aggressive, while breast cancer in older women tends to be more indolent. This suggests that less frequent screening in older women, but more frequent screening in younger women, may be more biologically based, practical, and cost effective.”
The study was published in the journal Cancer.