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New Recommendations for Mammogram Screening
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recently made new recommendations for mammogram screening. This information will help explain the new recommendations as well as the benefits and limitations of mammogram screening.
What are the new USPSTF recommendations for mammogram screening?
1) Women should start getting screening mammograms at age 50, and if normal, should continue getting them every other year until age 74.
2) Women under 50 should not get mammograms unless they:
are having symptoms
are at exceptionally high risk or
the woman and her doctor believe it will be of benefit to her.
3) After age 75, women can stop getting screening mammograms.
Why is the USPSTF making these new recommendations?
1. There have been large numbers of false diagnoses of breast cancer when screening mammograms have been used.
Mammogram screening exams are shown to prevent only 1 death in nearly 2000 women aged 40-49, while there are 99 false-positive results per 1000 screening exams. That is a rate of nearly 10% false positive diagnoses. False diagnoses lead to unnecessary emotional trauma of false cancer diagnosis and unnecessary, risky further procedures such as needle biopsies or radiation treatment.
2. Mammograms expose us to radiation.
Epidemiologists have calculated that cumulative radiation exposure from yearly screening mammograms commencing at 40 could cause a net overall increase in cancer deaths. The younger we are when exposed to radiation, the more sensitive our tissues are to the hazards from radiation exposure and from the extra images that are required in the event of a false positive result.
3. Over the past 30 years, mammograms have been shown to decrease breast cancer deaths in women over 50 years of age by 30%.
But a benefit for women in their 40's has never been demonstrated. Mammograms are clearest when imaging fatty breasts, which are naturally more prevalent in older women. Higher hormone levels occurring in the premenopausal period naturally cause breasts to be more fibrous and harder to read on a mammogram.
These new recommendations are in line with the recommendations followed by most European countries for the last 10 years, and the rates of death from breast cancer in the U.S. do not exceed those of most of Europe.
Are there any other screening options?
*_Thermography*_ is an excellent way to find large numbers of aggressive cancers as early as possible.
Thermography is radiation free using infrared sensing technology to identify areas of increased heat in the breast which represent increased blood flow, and inflammation, which are associated with breast cancer. A number of studies have shown Thermography to be sensitive and specific for detecting breast cancers.
Thermography offers the advantage for prevention because it identifies factors that can cause or encourage the growth of cancers. Such factors are modifiable and women can make the appropriate changes needed to discourage prevent the growth of cancers.
What measures can I take to promote healthy breast care?
Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kale, kohlrabi), healthy fats, and lean protein, including soy.
Take a daily high-quality multivitamin that contains iodine and selenium
Exercise 30–60 minutes 4 times per week and keep your body mass index low
Manage your stress in a healthy way
Discuss your family and personal history with your practitioner
Alkalinize your body! Try Mighty Maca Greens available on [Link Removed]
Wishing you a vida pura !
Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG, ABAARM
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