Some women benefit from frequent mammography

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Breast cancer screening mammography

As British researchers report, some women should go for mammography screening more often than is envisaged in various European programs. This was the result of a study that was presented on Friday.

Mammography more often than planned British researchers reported at the ninth European Breast Cancer Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, that some women should go for breast screening more often than foreseen in programs. In the UK, for example, around 30 percent of women could benefit from a more frequent examination than every three years. There is a breast cancer screening program in the United Kingdom for all women between 47 and 73 years old, with mammography intervals every three years. A corresponding program was launched in Austria at the beginning of this year at intervals of two years with an automatic invitation for women between 45 and 69 years of age. In Germany, too, there is an interval of two years for women between 50 and 69 years.

Studies every three years at 70 percent effective By evaluating the density of the breast tissue and by determining risk factors for breast cancer, scientists around Gareth Evans from the University of Manchester have given a total of 53,467 test subjects a more accurate picture of the risk since 2009 and compared the disease numbers. In the UK, the risk for women aged 47 to 73 to develop breast cancer is thought to vary from 2.4 percent among the younger to 3.5 percent among the older. The 36,748 women who, according to the risk determination, had an average or below-average risk of breast cancer, experienced 45 diseases with lymph node involvement within four years, i.e. three cases per 100,000 and year. The incidence of disease among women with an above-average risk was three times as high, with eleven cases per 100,000 people per year. According to Evans, the results suggest that screening tests every three years are effective in around 70 percent of women.

Some women should go for mammography annually However, the authors of the study also believe that more frequent examinations are probably necessary for women at higher risk. For a small proportion of women with a high disease risk of eight percent within ten years, there should even be a mammogram every year. As part of the mammography screening program in Austria, attempts are being made to counteract the problem of dense breast tissue, which cannot be examined very well by the mammography x-ray examination, by means of an ultrasound examination which is carried out immediately if in doubt.

Regular exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer The conference also presented a meta-study with the joint analysis of scientific studies on lifestyle factors and breast cancer. As the director of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon in France, Mathieu Boniol, announced, the data of a total of four million women were evaluated again. It was found that regular physical activity is a protective factor, regardless of age. The women who did the most sport had a 12 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who did the least sport.

Preventive examinations do not have a preventive effect Experts have been arguing for a long time about the advantages and disadvantages of so-called preventive examinations. Jürgen Windeler, medical doctor and head of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, IQWiG, in Cologne, criticized "Deutschlandradio Kultur" that the term "preventive medical check-up" alone was wrong: "Because you cannot prevent an illness from it Examinations, just to determine whether you have them. ”A recent survey showed that 30 percent of women believed that participation in mammography screening prevented them from developing breast cancer. However, in contrast to other studies, the data available for breast cancer screening is best. Systematic screening would save five out of 1,000 women from death from breast cancer.

Early diagnosis extremely important According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), breast cancer is diagnosed in more than 70,000 women each year. Around 17,000 women die of it every year. The RKI expects more than 75,000 new cases in 2014. The German Society for Senology (DGS) believes that about 80 percent of women who are ill can be successfully treated today. Breast cancer can no longer be equated with a death sentence. However, a lot depends on early diagnosis. (ad)

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Video: Mammography and Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

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