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Breast cancer survivors slacken on mandated annual mammograms

According to a new study, breast cancer survivors who are at a high risk of a relapse or cancer of the other breast should ideally be getting an annual screening// or mammogram done. But the study has found a decline in the annual follow-up trend especially during the five year period after the cancer. During a five-year period, the study showed that only one in three women, in the risk category, had actually undergone annual mammograms.

According to statistics, nearly 2.3 million women in the United States have received treatment for breast cancer. The risk for a woman, who has already suffered breast cancer, is almost 3 times enhanced to suffer a malignancy in the other breast. An annual follow up is a must which can help in early identification of any subsequent cancers.

The researchers found that in the first year after treatment, 80 percent of women had received a screening mammogram. At the fifth year of follow-up, only 63 percent had received a mammogram that year, and only one in three women (33 percent) had received a mammogram each year over the five years.

The study has clearly established that regular mammography for breast cancer survivors have shown a downward trend. The authors say 'Efforts are needed to increase awareness among healthcare providers and breast cancer survivors on the value of follow-up mammography.'

This study has been published in the June 1, 2006 issue of CANCER, a journal of the American Cancer Society.
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