|The arrow on this mammogram points to a small cancerous lesion. A lesion is an area of abnormal tissue change (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A blockbuster Canadian study has added fuel to the already heated debate concerning the benefits of regular mammograms. According to the study, annual screening of women aged 40 to 59 did not lower breast cancer death rates despite current recommendations that this age group get mammograms every year.
The new research is convincing because of its scope and thoroughness. For 25 years, researchers followed nearly 90,000 women who were randomly assigned to either get mammograms or no screening. The conclusion: Women getting mammograms were just as likely to die from breast cancer as those who didn't get them.
What's more, experts warn that the radiation used in mammograms may actually cause cancer.
"I haven't been a fan of mammograms for years," Christine Horner, M.D., a nationally known surgeon, author, and expert on breast cancer who lives in San Diego, tells Newsmax Health. "I agree with all the reasons stated in the study. I think it is much better to use technology that doesn't use radiation such as thermography, ultrasounds, and physical exams to detect breast cancer."