In the U.S., women are urged to get annual mammograms at age 40. This, despite the fact that updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 urge women to wait until age 50 and to follow up with bi-annual screening thereafter.
The newest technology for screening is 3 D Tomosynthesis which still requires mechanical compression and exposes women to even more radiation than conventional 2 D mammograms. The push to go 3D may be a last ditch effort to avoid having to admit that mammograms are useless and don't result in reduced mortality rates.
Since Tomosynthesis mammograms received FDA approval in 2011 there is no data to prove the technology finds more cancers, saves lives, and won't result in a greatly increased risk of breast cancer in the future.
There actually is no way to tell if a little spot on an xray (3D or not) is actually cancerous or benign. Quoting Peter C. Gotzche, M.D. of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and author of Mammography Screening : the Truth, Lies and Controversy, "the most effective way to decrease women's risk of becoming a breast cancer patient is avoid attending screening".
Last November the New England Journal of Medicine also published a shocking analysis of the effects of breast cancer screening in the U.S over the past three decades. They found 1.3 million women were mis-diagnosed and mis-treated as a result. Actually only one in 2000 women undergoing regular mammogram will benefit from it.
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