Should women be getting mammograms sooner?

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HOUSTON, TX – New research at Harvard University says that women should get mammograms sooner.

Dr. Therese Bevers with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center explains, “A woman was more likely to die from breast cancer if she didn’t have routine screening, and occurred more commonly in women in their 40’s.”

The Harvard study looked at 600 women who died from breast cancer. 50% were under the age of 50, and only 33% had mammogram testing.

“So that just really stresses the importance of annual mammographic screening beginning at age 40, so we can catch those cancers early and change the outcome.”

Until now, doctors thought the risk of having mammograms outweighed the benefits.

“False positives, over diagnosis and alike, based on what they saw as the benefits and the harms, they felt that there were too many harms for women in their 40’s.”

With the information from this new study, more women may be at less of a risk for breast cancer.

“I think that if women get annual mammograms beginning at age 40, we’ll see fewer women dying of breast cancer.”

Getting a mammogram may not be the time of your life, but it could end up saving it.