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Mammograms every two years?

womanAnnual mammograms have become a normal routine for many women; however, a new study has found that getting a mammogram every two years didn’t increase the risk of being diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer for women ages 66 to 74.

Women tested every year were more likely to have false-positive results than those screened every two years, says the article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study looked at data from more than 140,000 women ages 66 to 89. Of them, nearly 3,000 were diagnosed with breast cancer. Researchers estimated the probability of false-positives over a decade for women ages 66 to 74 and discovered that almost half of the women who were screened every year had at least one false-positive. Among those screened every two years, 29 percent had at least one false-positive after 10 years. Results were similar in women ages 75 to 89.

Guidelines are frequently evolving and your individual schedule may vary based on your personal and family medical history. This study’s findings are in line with recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, while the American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms. Talk with your doctor about the frequency that’s right for you.

To discuss your own schedule, be sure to contact our Mammography Department.