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Mammograms – Good or Bad?

March 5, 2014

There has been much controversy of late surrounding mammograms and their usefullness.  Some studies have come back showing that the mortality rate of women who had yearly or bi-yearly mammograms did not have a better outcome then those that just used self-breast exams or physician directed exams.  

Personally, I think we are doing a really good job with detecting breast cancer early.  The numbers continue to prove that breast cancer is less deadly then it was 5 years ago due to a mix of better detection procedures (mammograms included) and better treatments.  I know I will continue to use mammograms regardless of the results of these studies until a lot more information is accumulated.  

Mammograms do help to detect cancer.  Breast self exams do help detect cancer.  The issue that I have is that a HUGE number of women do not perform regular breast self exams.  I ask my students this on a regular basis and 90% of the hands stay down.  Mammograms are one way to help supplement this trend.  Although I would like to see more education on breast exams and less on mammograms as self exams are so much cheaper. 🙂

Here is a resource to look at:

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