A mammogram or X-ray picture of the breast is used to both to diagnose and screen for breast cancer. Twenty five percent of women have predictable risk factors, but the main risk is age. Hormone replacement therapy for six or more years is thought to increase the risk of breast cancer by as much as forty percent.
Usefulness Of Routine Screening
Drawbacks Of Screening Mammograms
False Positives: If suspicious mammogram and biopsy done, only 10 to 20 percent turn out to be cancer.
False Negatives: About 1 to 5 percent of mammograms read as normal but cancer present, more often in women under 50.
In younger women, breasts are more dense, and mammograms harder to read. In addition, cancer can appear in the interval between screenings.
Thorough exam of breasts by trained doctor or nurse every year alone may reduce death rate as much as exam plus mammogram in women 50 or older.
Self exam of the breasts is effective only if well taught. An educational tool can teach women accurate self exam using an instructional video and breast model. Contact Mammacare 1-800-MAM-CARE or 1-800-626-2273 or 352-375-0607 or 352-375-6111 fax. Website is at www.mammacare.com
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