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American Cancer Society Marks National Mammography Day by Reinforcing Importance of Mammograms
Date:10/19/2007

ATLANTA, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today is National Mammography Day, and the American Cancer Society is urging women 40 and older to get a yearly mammogram, especially in light of recent data suggesting a decline in mammography rates in the U.S.

A study in the June 15, 2007 issue of CANCER found a significant decline in mammography screening nationwide. The worrisome trend comes after decades of increasing mammography use, which has contributed to drops in the breast cancer mortality rate of more than two percent per year since 1990.

"While mammography screenings in women 40 and older increased dramatically, from just 39 percent in 1987 to 70 percent by the year 2000, the most recent data shows that mammography rates have declined by as much as four percentage points, to about 66 percent in the latest time period (2004)," said Richard C. Wender, M.D., national volunteer president of the Society. "Mammography remains the most effective screening test for the early detection of breast cancer available to women today. If we want to continue to make progress in eliminating breast cancer as a major health threat, we need to support women and urge them to continue making screening a priority."

The decline in mammography screenings has implications for the progress made in reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality rates. While the newly-released Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2007-2008 reported that the breast cancer incidence rate in the U.S. has decreased by 3.5 percent per year between 2001 and 2004, the authors say the decline is due in part to the fact that women are less likely to receive mammograms.

To help remind women about the vital importance of getting a yearly mammogram, the Society is providing a free mammogram reminder tool at http://www.cancer.org/MammogramReminder where women can sign up to receive an email reminding them to schedule the
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SOURCE American Cancer Society
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