Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Screening Mammography’s Role in Saving Lives

A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that the benefit of screening mammography has declined over time. Only 5-10% of women who find a cancer by getting a mammogram will have their life saved by early detection. The authors speculate that the benefit has declined because women present to a physician earlier if they self-detect a lump and because treatment of self-detected cancers has improved. One advantage of using thermography for breast screening is that tendencies toward the development of cancer show up before a cancer starts to grow. Interventions to try to modify that risk can then be implemented. Another advantage of thermography is that it can better evaluate dense breasts. Efforts by the group, Are You Dense, to inform patients with this finding and require additional screening are causing several states to introduce legislation this year. See Welch and Frankel, Arch. Intern. Med 2011, Oct 24. For thermography see ThermaScan.com (click here) or my website, healthcelebration.com (click here)

No comments: