Women with dense breasts need mammograms yearly? Research into this issue is beginning to suggest that it may not be a bad idea for women who have dense breasts to have an annual mammogram. According to the news report, in which this article is based, older women may not need to have a mammogram done every year (unless they too have dense breasts and other factors present), as one of the factors for determining whether the mammogram is needed yearly centers around the dense tissue in the breast.
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) reflect that as of 2013, the most current year for data analysis, 230,815 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, the numbers reveal that 40,860 women died from breast cancer. CDC research says that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for women, regardless of race and ethnicity.
With the above said, the American Cancer Society (“ACS”) provides 5 year survival rates for people diagnosed with breast cancer (please remember that the survival rates are a general estimate for a large group of people and not one individual case). The survival rates vary in most cases due to factors such as the stage of the cancer when it is initially found. For cancer at Stage 0 or 1 the 5 year survival rate is 100%. Stage 2 is around 93% according to the ACS and drops to around 72% at stage 3. Survival rates get more complicated once the cancer has spread into other areas of the body.
Research into the area of women with dense breast tissue (milk glands, milk ducts and supportive tissue is dense breast tissue, whereas fatty tissue is nondense breast tissue) revealed that women aged “50 to 74 who did not have a high risk of breast cancer or dense breast tissue did not have an increase in breast cancer deaths if they went for mammography every three years instead of every two years,” according to Reuters.
The same article pointed out that, “But with dense breasts and a higher risk for these tumors, yearly mammograms were associated with fewer breast cancer deaths than screening every other year.”
As with all medical conditions, remember to speak with your doctor about the specifics of your situation. For more information on the findings from researchers, and the article in support of this posting, please visit the link HERE.