Mammograms Do More Harm Than Good For Women Over 70: Study Says

Mammogram breast cancer screenings for women aged 70 and older may cause more harm than good, according to a large new study.

The screenings don’t decrease the number of advanced breast cancer cases diagnosed in these older women. But the tests can lead to overtreatment in a large number of women and put them at risk from the harmful side effects of breast cancer treatment, the researchers said.

The researchers examined data from the Netherlands, where a mammogram breast cancer screening program was extended in 1998 to include women up to age 75. The study included more than 25,000 women, aged 70 to 75, who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1995 and 2011.

Among women in this age group, the number of early stage breast cancer cases rose from 260 per 100,000 women in 1995 to 382 per 100,000 women in 2011. There was little change in the number of advanced breast cancer cases, however, which fell from 59 per 100,000 women in 1995 to 53 per 100,000 in 2011.

The findings were presented Friday at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Full Article.



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