Recent Blog Articles
Vegan and paleo: Pluses and minuses to watch
Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable
Right-sizing opioid prescriptions after surgery
Ready for your routine medical checkup?
Nicotine addiction explained — and how medications can help
Is your vision impaired? Tips to cope
Misgendering: What it is and why it matters
Healthy brain, healthier heart?
Stories connect us
Wondering about a headline-grabbing drug? Read on
Harvard Health Blog
Screening mammograms: One recommendation may not fit all
- By: Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Women with dense breasts need MRI screening to be given a fair chance at early diagnosis.
The person who invented mammograms for breast cancer screening was a sadist . The test is very painful and not very good
at detecting cancer accurately!
This research may be flawed for the following reasons:
1. U.S. Hispanic women cannot be categorized with all Hispanic women in the world;
2. Hispanic women from Mexico appear to have a more aggressive cancer;
3. The research must properly categorize Hispanic women raised in the U.S., Hispanic women raised in Mexico, other immigrant Hispanic woman by immigrant sending country.
4. One research category does NOT fit all.
Why women with darker skin get breast cancer more frequently and more severely? It may be due to vitamin D deficiency, there is enough evidence out there. Darker skin women would be much better off with screening for vitamin D and not being irradiated unnecessarily.
Mammography may even cause (in some small percentage) breast cancer – irradiation plus worries that surround every screening – so this screening becomes self fulfilling prophecy.
M. McCarthy that is so happy for being diagnosed (timely) at the age of 54, was diagnosed after 14 annual screenings (i.e. annual gamma irradiations). If she had missed these x-rays screenings maybe there would not be anything to diagnose at the first place.
A large Canadian study shows that routine mammograms are far less helpful than we thought. Also, autopsies of European women who died for other reasons in old age revealed that they often had conditions that would have been diagnosed as breast cancer in the U.S. Some American women are undergoing radiation and chemo that they may not need. It would be interesting to know if unnecessary treatments have caused deaths or shortened lives.
Has news of this study failed to reach Harvard? See the New York Times article at the link below.
Why the non-aggressive sonogram is not included in routine screening?
Having been recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 77, my guideline is to continue annual mammograms as long as you would do something about a positive finding! As for when to start, I agree with the guidelines being based on risk factors. However, according to much of my reading on risk factors, it appears the two greatest risk factors are age and gender, over which we have no control. And I would not suggest waiting until age 65 to begin…
I began screening at 40 and was diagnosed at 54 because the images should changes from the previous years and because of the type of tumor biopsied, underwent rt. breast mastectomy. Wonder how bad it could have been if some of these recommendations were prevalent 15 years ago! Women need to choose for ourselves, not because some “group” decides, and my hunch would be the groups are primarily male, with funding from insurance companies.
So why in the world would we go to ‘every other year’ based on the information provided by the recent Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program…..is it COST?
study by Harvard doctors at MassGeneral -> White women’s breast cancers tend to occur in their 60s, with a peak around 65. However, black, Hispanic, and Asian women’s breast cancers tended to occur in their 40s, with a peak around 48. In addition, a significantly higher proportion of black and Hispanic women have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis, when compared to white and Asian women.
Commenting has been closed for this post.