Study: Older women don't need annual mammogramon February 5, 2013 @ 2:51 pm (Updated: 3:04 pm - 2/5/13 )
Researchers at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle and at the University of Washington were part of a national study, analyzing 140,000 women between the ages of 66 and 89. Some of the women had breast cancer but most did not.
Findings, published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, showed there is no difference in rates of late-stage breast cancer between women screened annually and those screened every other year.
The study also found that almost half, 48 percent, of women aged 66-to-74 who got a mammogram every year got a false positive for breast cancer. The rate of false-positives was 27 percent for women in the same age group who were screened every other year.
"They get no added benefit from annual screening and face almost twice the false positives," said senior author Karla Kerlikowske, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. She says the data "fills an important information gap" about screening intervals for older women.
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