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Half of All Women Do Not Get Regular Mammograms Despite Recommended Guidelines
Date:12/9/2010

SAN ANTONIO, Dec, 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As the debate continues over the appropriate frequency and age for mammography screenings to detect breast cancer, a new study shows that a large percentage of women are simply not getting tested often enough, falling far short of recommendations by leading medical groups and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).  The analysis from the Medco Research Institute™, a research subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), is being presented at The 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

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The study examined medical claims data during a four-year period from 2006 through 2009 and found that only 50 percent of women aged 40 and older had yearly mammograms, and those between 40 and 50 years old had an even lower screening rate.

While the American Cancer Society and other leading medical groups have continually called for yearly routine mammograms in women 40 and older, the USPSTF issued guidelines in November 2009 recommending biennial screenings (once every two years) for women starting at age 50, triggering a heated national debate.    

"Surveys done following the USPSTF recommendations showed that the vast majority of women support yearly mammograms starting at age 40.  However, this study suggests that even among an insured population, many women do not meet that target and a surprising number do not even have one mammogram in four years," said Dr. Milayna Subar, lead author of the study and National Practice Leader for the Medco Oncology Therapeutic Resource Center® (TRC).  

The study found that during the four-year period, nearly 40 percent of women aged 50 and older di
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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