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Recently, there was a study conducted “touting” the benefits of mammograms. In this study, 133,000 women were evaluated and divided into three age groups. The follow-up period lasted 29 years, which the researchers said is the longest trial ever conducted. For the women ages 40-39, for every 2500 mammograms conducted, one death was prevented. Overall, the study says that investigators found 30 percent fewer breast cancer deaths overall compared to groups of women that were not screened.

The debate over mammograms is still ongoing because the list of pros and cons is debatable. The researchers in this study said that radiation and over-diagnosis are two cons to mammograms. It should be noted that the type of mammogram imaging used in this trial evaluation was not the type that you would receive if you went to your local imaging center for screening. You would receive a “Dual View” which exposes you to a much higher amount of radiation than the “Single View” type of analysis used in the study. Also, when the “Dual View” is used, there is a much greater chance of “over-diagnosis,” as compared to the older “Single View” technology.  The dual view is a newer form of technology and has replaced the single view.

Basically, I believe that the debate over mammograms is ongoing. Although this study had results, the issue is that with the changing technology, we cannot track results exactly. Again, their use of the single view had to remain the same to make the research valid; however, it is not the imaging currently used.

Remember that self-examinations are helpful in identifying abnormalities. Also, thermography is another type of imaging that can be used.

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