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Study Supports Mammograms For Women in Their 40s
Date:11/29/2011

eir doctor and then decide. The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care earlier this month recommended that women age 40 to 49 at average risk not get routine mammograms.

"I don't see that this study helps inform a woman about whether she should start mammograms at age 40 or at age 50," said Dr. Michael LeFevre, co-vice-chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. One limitation of the study is that it was conducted at a single facility, a limitation that Destounis acknowledges. However, she said the women are ethnically diverse and from all income levels.

The study finding, LeFevre said, ''doesn't say anything about the probability of a woman dying in her 40s."

LeFevre also pointed out that "having an aunt die of breast cancer at age 85 is not the same as having a mother or sister with breast cancer at 42," when it comes to family history. When a woman discusses with her doctor when she should begin mammograms, LeFevre said that discussion should definitely include details about family history.

Destounis and some of her co-authors report being investigators for diagnostic imaging companies, including Siemens, Hologic and others. The study was not funded by outside sources, however, Destounis said.

Research presented at a medical conference is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

To learn more about mammograms, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Stamatia V. Destounis, M.D., radiologist and managing partner, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, Rochester, N.Y.; Michael LeFevre, M.D., co-vice-chair, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and professor and vice chair, family and community medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia; Radiolo
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