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Study suggests women should be screened for breast cancer earlier and more often

A study out of Boston suggests that getting screened for breast cancer before you turn 50 could be a life saver.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A study out of Boston suggests that getting screened for breast cancer before you turn 50 could be a life saver.

The study arrives during a long debate regarding when women should get mammograms, and how often.

“While mammograms definitely save lives, a woman has a choice about whether to get screened in her 40s or 50s,” said Dr. Richard Besser.

Women should consult with their doctor before making such a choice, especially if you have risk factors.

Researchers in Boston identified more than 600 women who died of breast cancer.

They found that 71 percent of them had never had a mammogram – and half of them were under the age of 50.

Doctors say there are positives and negatives of screening early and often.

It could detect breast cancer and give someone a better chance of fighting if off.

But doctors say it can also lead to false positives and unnecessary treatment and costs.

The American Cancer Society recommends getting a mammogram every year starting at age 40.

The US Preventative Task Force – a government agency – suggests women start at age 50 and be screened every other year after that.

Those who pursue screenings early should confirm when their insurance company begins covering mammograms and how often.

Women who do not have risk factors should perform self breast exams and see their physician for an exam every two to three years beginning in their 20s.

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