Docs Tell Younger Women: Avoid Mammograms

Younger women should think twice before x-raying breasts, docs say
By Julia ,  Newser User
Posted Apr 3, 2007 8:16 AM CDT
Dr. Murray Rebner reviews a mammogram done using digital technology at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.    (KRT Photos)

(Newser) – Forty-something women should consider skipping their annual mammograms, the American College of Physicians is suggesting after a new review of research. Docs point to danger from radiation and unnecessary biopsies, surgery and chemotherapy, thanks in part to a high rate of false positives.  "We don't think the evidence supports a blanket recommendation," one of the authors told the Washington Post.

The guidelines contradict the advice of the American Cancer Society, which encourages women over 40 to get yearly mammograms. But the ACP's study, which reviewed the past four decades of scientific literature on mammograms, found that screenings might not reduce that population's breast cancer rate at all.