According to a new study, women who undergo routine mammograms can lower their risk of dying from breast cancer by nearly half.
Researchers in the Netherlands tracked nearly 800 patients who died from breast cancer between the years 1995 and 2003. These were compared with some 3,700 or more control patients who were matched by age and other measures.
The study found that women who underwent screening reduced their risk of dying from breast cancer by 49 percent. For women between the ages of 70 and 75, the reduced risk of dying from breast cancer was even higher; 84 percent. For younger women, those specifically between the ages of 50 to 69, the reduction was smaller, though still significant at 39 percent.
Among the women with breast cancer, nearly 30 percent of tumors were found as a result of the screening and about 34 percent were identified between screens. Nearly 36 percent of these women had never had a mammogram.
“Mammography screening, including the best age to begin, is being debated in the United States,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance. “Some experts believe women should start getting them at age 40 while others recommend routine screenings begin at age 50.”
The study findings add to the body of evidence supporting the fact that mammography improves detection and survival. However, medical researchers noted that is was not clear whether the women who died of cancer got less aggressive treatment or refused treatment. That could have affected survival, of course.
“Heart attack, cancer and stroke are the three leading critical illnesses impacting millions of families each year, ” Slome adds, “which is why we have mounted a campaign to educate individuals between ages 30 and 50 about critical illness insurance protection which pays a lump sum cash amount upon diagnosis of a major condition.”
For more information on critical illness insurance, visit the Association’s Consumer Information Center at http://www.criticalillnessinsuranceinfo.org/learning-center/. For information on long term care insurance, visit the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance’s educational website http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/ – long term care insurance.