Learn why mammogram screenings should be done annually.
It's difficult to know what guidelines to follow when there is an abundance of competing information regarding mammograms, specifically on how often and at what age women should start getting them. Some organizations, like the U.S. Preventative Services Task force (a government agency), recommends that 'women should get a mammogram every other year' . This advice and suggestion has been demonstrated to result in significant numbers of delayed diagnoses of breast cancer, which results in poor clinical outcomes for patients.
However, the medical community, including the American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the American College of Surgeons, and the American College of Radiology, the world's most well-respected doctors, and we at Diagnostic Imaging Specialists; still advocate for yearly mammograms. One of the most well-regarded authorities on this topic in the medical community is Dr. Daniel Kopans, an award winning physician, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Senior Radiologist in the Breast Imaging Division at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Through his research, Dr. Kopans has found:
- Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Networking (CISNET) shows that most lives are saved by annual mammography beginning at the age of 40  as opposed to biennially.
- If women are screened annually, the size of cancers and the stage at which they are found is lower than if cancers are given a longer time to grow .
- Since the start of screenings in 1980, there are 35% fewer women dying of breast cancer each year than there would be if screening had not been introduced .
Kopans, D. (2015, May 7). Dr. Daniel Kopans: Topol ignores facts on mammography. Retrieved from: http://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=ser&sub=def&pag=dis&ItemID=110913
U.S. Preventive Services. (2016, February). Final update summary: Breast cancer. Retrieved from: http://www,uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/breast-cancer-screening1?ds=1&s=breast%cancer%screening