Because it is an invasive form of cancer, it also is the cause of more than 400,000 deaths worldwide. Women over 40 years old are advised to be careful and monitor any change in the form or consistency of the tissue in their breasts.
One of the most common screening methods to detect breast cancer is the mammogram. However, there have been many debates regarding the efficiency of this method throughout the years.
A new study carried out by researchers in the United Kingdom has opened this debate once more. According to a report published in the Guardian, mammograms might be less effective than it was previously thought, in spite of their massive use worldwide.
The researchers looked at the data recorded by studies conducted in the 1960s and the 1970s in order to verify the theory that mammograms could save25 percent of the lives of people diagnosed with breast cancer.
A study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine revealed that the statistics were wrong because the numbers were too high. Moreover, in spite of the fact that mammograms have been widely used as the number one screening method for diagnosing breast cancer, the number of deaths associated with this type of tumor has not been reduced.
Therefore, the study concluded that mammograms could lead to the prevention of no more than 10 percent of deaths linked to breast cancer.
In 2012 another study posed questions related to the benefits of mammograms. The authors of that paper reached the conclusion that the mammogram was an effective method to detect cancer in its early stages, but it posed risks that women were not aware of.
This study also weight the good and the bad aspects of the screening method. Even if it is a good way to detect cancer, there is also a risk of over-diagnosis. This can be dangerous because it can prompt the patient to undergo unnecessary treatment.
This is why women are advise to gather their information first and always check before they make a decision, especially when their health is at stake.
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