Age may not be the best indicator of how frequently women should receive mammograms. The findings from a California researcher helped inform the new American Cancer Society breast cancer screening guidelines released today.
UC Davis Bio-Statistics Professor Diana Migloretti led a study on whether certain groups of women could safely receive mammograms every other year, as opposed to every year.
"We found that menopausal status tends to be a better indicator of how frequently women should be screened than age," she says.
Migloretti says annual screenings may benefit premenopausal women over 40 because of an increased chance of finding early stage cancer. But the screenings should be balanced against the potential for false alarms.
The study finds postmenopausal women with an average risk for breast cancer can safely be screened every other year.