Benefits of Mammograms

Mammograms should be started at the age of 40, according to research. Doing so will help in reducing the rate of deaths caused by breast cancer, bringing it down by up to 24 percent. At this stage, it is important to mention that mammograms can definitely outweigh potential risks of developing cancer.

However, the study has come after the findings of another research that shows how starting screening at 40 could rarely save lives, to cause misdiagnosis that would lead to anxiety and debilitating treatments.

Those findings have earlier led to a lot of confusion and controversy over the basic guidelines of screening.

The new study with respect to mammogram involved 10,000 women who started mammogram at 40. In 497, cancer was detected early enough for saving their lives. Without mammograms, at least 2,070 would die of this disease.

Likewise, 86 of these women could get radiationinduced cancer, while 11 of them would probably die, according to the reports of study researcher Martin J. Yafee.
While there is a risk of radiation, but it is very small as compared to the benefit of early detection of breast cancer.

It is the radiation factor that increases risk of other diseases in women, especially cancer.

Therefore, in order to get to the basics, researchers have identified that the amount of mammogram radiation required for screening a woman at 40.

There is no direct evidence to prove that breast cancer is caused by mammography as it is impossible to differentiate radiation-induced breast cancer and cancer caused by other reasons. Rather, the calculations clearly state what is likely to happen, given the fact that the amount of radiation any woman is subjected to at the time of mammography.

The information available on the risk of cancer due to radiation is entirely based on some historical facts and figures just like the incidence of cancer in people who have survived the nuclear bomb blasts during the Second World War. According to latest research and findings, there are potential benefits and risks associated with mammogram, though the benefits actually outweigh the risk factors.

The potential health benefit of mammogram screening is so strong that it is obviously one of the keys to early detection of breast cancer. The finding also confirms that the benefit of undergoing a mammogram is much greater than the potential risks associated with the same, but still it underestimates the lives that can possibly be saved with mammogram.

It is also said that while the potential benefit of early detection is practical, the risk of radiation exposure and consequently cancer is a theoretical estimation. It is difficult to be confident about theoretical risks of cancer caused by radiation, because such risks are usually very small, while the benefits of detecting breast cancer early can save lives.