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Women 80 and older benefit from mammography, but few are screened
Date:4/22/2008

l and colleagues examined mammography use in the five-year period before breast cancer diagnosis among 12,358 women age 80 and older. Those who had no mammograms during that period were considered nonusers; irregular users had one to two mammograms and regular users had three or more mammograms.

They found that only 22 percent of women were regular users of mammography, 29 percent were irregular users and 49 percent had no mammograms in the five years before their diagnosis. Regular users were more likely to be diagnosed with stage I disease, while stage II-IV breast cancers were more commonly found among the nonusers and irregular users. For example, 68 percent of regular users were found to have stage I disease, compared with 56 percent of irregular users and 33 percent of nonusers. Similarly, only 32 percent of regular users had stage II-IV cancers, compared with 44 percent of irregular users and 67 percent of nonusers.

Five-year survival from breast cancer was greatest among regular users (94 percent) and lower among irregular users (88 percent) and nonusers (82 percent). However, the researchers cautioned against linking mammography use to better survival, because survival from diseases other than breast cancer was also better among women who had regular mammography (80 percent) compared with irregular users (69 percent) and nonusers (59 percent)suggesting that regular users may be in a better state of health compared with women who dont undergo regular mammography.


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Contact: Tiffany Reynolds
tiffany.reynolds@asco.org
703-519-1423
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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