The two best methods of early detection of breast cancer are breast self-examination and screening mammography. Still, it is preferred mammography.
Mammography can sometimes give a so-called false-positive results when a mammogram shows signs of a tumor, but upon further investigation (eg, biopsy), it is not detected.
A study by Dutch scientists showed that a comparison of previous mammograms with newly obtained can reduce the number of false-positive results by 44%. The main points was that such a comparison should be carried out continuously, and not just when the radiologist believes that it may help in diagnosis. In addition, comparing mammograms can help detect abnormalities and other areas.
The transition from film to digital mammography may be more difficult the holding of such a comparison. However, over time, when this type of mammography will become more common, a comparison of old and new images will be much easier, because the doctor can always get a stored image files from your computer at any time. So, if you have any pictures of past mammograms, it is desirable to show them a doctor, who will compare these images with new ones. In this way you can reduce the likelihood of false-positive results.
At what age to start screening mammography
The study referred to below, far from being the first and not the latter. The researchers argue that screening mammography should begin not with the 40 years and 50 years. Discussed recommendations for the start of screening mammography relate, of course, all women.
However, every woman - is an individual organism. The researchers found that one in four of the thousands of women could save a life, if mammography were conducted with 40 years of age, and not with the 50-year-old. For these women it is important to begin annual mammography at age 40.
On the other hand, breast cancer is less common in the age of 50 years. Often, for breast cancer in younger patients are much more aggressive. Early diagnosis of cancer can start treatment early in the process when it can still give a positive effect.
The assumptions of researchers to conduct screening mammography after age 50, the following:
Radiation exposure, which in itself may increase the risk of cancer.
False-positive results, which once again lead to stressful situations, as well as for the extra unnecessary methods. Such false-positive results are more common in younger patients.
However, we maintain that screening mammography should begin with 40 years of age. If the patient is at high risk of developing breast cancer, family history, or cases of radiation therapy to the chest in the past, in which case it is recommended to begin screening mammography at an earlier age.
No matter what age did you start screening mammography, but this method of investigation is necessary to hold regular breast self-examination and be tested by a doctor, and if necessary, methods such as ultrasound and MRI.