Navigation Links
Women Over 75 May Benefit From Mammograms

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women 75 and older may still benefit from routine mammograms, according to new research.

However, not everyone agrees with this study's conclusions.

"Mammography detects breast cancer early, when it's more treatable and the risk of death is very low," said study researcher Judith Malmgren, an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle.

"If it's not detected by a mammogram and it's detected by the physician or the patients, women are more likely to have advanced stage disease and there is a higher risk of death," she said.

The study findings do make an important argument that age alone is not a reason to abandon mammography, said Dr. Gerrit-Jan Liefers, a surgical oncologist at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Liefers was not involved with the current research, but he did review the study's findings.

But, he added, the findings don't convince him that older women need routine screening.

In fact, Liefers presented preliminary findings from a study he conducted that found mammograms in women 70 and older might do more harm than good at the European Breast Cancer Conference earlier this year. He found that the screenings don't decrease the number of advanced breast cancer cases, but do lead to ''overtreatment," putting some at risk of harmful side effects.

Guidelines from professional organizations don't agree on routine mammograms for older women either. The American Cancer Society recommends that women continue to have mammograms annually as long as they remain in good health.

However, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, concludes that there is not enough evidence one way or the other to recommend routine screening for women 75 and older.

The study was published online Aug. 5 in Radiology

In the new study, Malmgren and her colleagues looked at data from a registry of women with breast cancer. They found more than 1,100 women over age 75 diagnosed with early- to late-stage breast cancer from 1990 to 2011.

The registry had information on how the cancer was diagnosed, the stage and other data. The detection of cancers with mammography increased over time during the study, from 49 percent to 70 percent.

Most mammography-detected cancers were in the early stage, while those found by doctors and patients were more likely to be advanced.

Those detected by mammography were more likely to need less aggressive treatments as well.

The study said that breast cancer survival was better in women whose cancer was detected by mammography, with 97 percent alive five years later. In comparison, 87 percent of those with invasive cancers found by their doctor or themselves were alive at the five-year mark.

However, the study was only able to show a link between mammography and improved survival. It wasn't able to prove that mammography was directly linked to the increased survival.

In addition, Liefers argued that the conclusion that fewer women died of breast cancer if it was detected by mammography may not be accurate. Other factors may play in to the survival besides the screening itself, he said. For instance, patient-detected tumors may be more aggressive than mammography-detected tumors.

Findings that do favor screening for older women include the decrease in advanced cancers and the increase in early cancer detection, Liefers said.

The take-home message, according to Malmgren, is for women 75 and over to get a mammogram every other year. That advice only holds true if women have a life expectancy of five years or more, though.

Liefers said that women should ''discuss their individual risk of breast cancer and competing risks of mortality with their doctor," before making a decision on whether or not to get a mammogram.

More information

To learn more about early detection of cancer, visit American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Judith A. Malmgren, Ph.D., affiliate assistant professor, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, Wash.; Gerrit-Jan Liefers, M.D., Ph.D., surgical oncologist, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Aug. 5, 2014 Radiology online

Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Taller, Heavier Women May Face Higher Ovarian Cancer Risk
2. 62 percent of men and 37 percent of women over the age of 65 are sexually active
3. Obese White Women Shying Away From Colon Cancer Screening
4. Study: Women not getting enough exercise; at risk of developing metabolic syndrome
5. Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women
6. White Women Make Up Bulk of Assisted-Living Residents
7. Stress contributes to cognitive declines in women with breast cancer, researcher says
8. Women Less Apt Than Men to Get Recommended Daily Exercise
9. Overweight Pregnant Women at Higher Risk for Complications
10. Women With Older Partners More Often Admitted to Nursing Homes
11. Research shows efficacy of treatment model developed at Women & Infants
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Women Over 75 May Benefit From Mammograms
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media ... Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice ... X users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in ... ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered ... The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women ... diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate ... that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice ... States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm ... Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published ... unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable ... less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... date financial data derived from varied research sources to present ... impact on the market during the next five years, including ... sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report provides ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune ... growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable growth ... vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: