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'No family history' not a good reason for women 40-49 to stop yearly screening mammograms

More than half the women aged 40-49 diagnosed with breast cancer on screening mammography report no family history, a new study shows.

The study, conducted at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, LLC in Rochester, NY of all breast cancers diagnosed between 2000 and 2010, found that 228 out of 373 cancers (61%) were found in women, aged 40-49 with no family history of breast cancer. Seventeen of the 228 patients did have a prior personal history of breast cancer or abnormal cells at a prior biopsy, and were not included in this analysis.

Out of 211 women that remained for this study, 135(64%) who did not have a prior personal history of breast cancer or abnormal cells, and had no family history of breast cancer, had invasive disease, said Stamatia Destounis, MD, the lead author of the study. Invasive disease includes invasive ductal, invasive lobular, mucinous, tubular and papillary cancers, said Dr. Destounis.

Ninety-two of the patients with invasive disease were treated with lumpectomy, eight going on to mastectomy after close or positive margins; 42 had a mastectomy and one patient did not have surgery due to metastatic disease, said Dr. Destounis.

"We have follow-up imaging available for 149 of the 211 patients, and 144 are doing well; five have been diagnosed with new or recurrent cancer," said Dr. Destounis. "We decided to look at our patients diagnosed with breast cancer in the 40-49 age group in lieu of recent proposed changes with mammography screening guidelines and the scrutiny over screening mammography," said Dr. Destounis. "We weren't surprised by the results of the study, but the data do confirm that women in their 40s benefit from screening mammography yearly," she said.

Contact: Samantha Schmidt
American Roentgen Ray Society

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