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Mammograms better than self-exam

The American Cancer Society said that mammograms remain the most important tool in detecting breast cancer. They also recommended that women above 40 years of age receive mammograms annually. Researchers say that mammograms are able to find 80% to 85% of cancers. They also said that self-examination did not contribute to breast cancer survival rates.Mammograms typically find cancers that have grown for two years, while self-exams detect cancer that has been growing for six years.// The society recommends that women in their 20s should be told about the benefits and limitations of the self-examination. Women between 20 to 39 years of age should receive a clinical breast exam every three years and those who are 40 or older examine their breasts annually. Those with a family history of breast cancer are recommended to have mammograms as early as age 30. Breast ultrasound or breast MRI are also recommended. However the society warned that new, non-mammography screening technologies must exceed the detection ability of mammography before being used as screening tools.

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