Annual Mammogram age 40 to 50 Lowers Mastectomy Rates

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Women diagnosed with breast cancer, between age 40 and 50, have been found to have lower rates of mastectomy from annual mammogram screening. The findings are presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) that highlight the importance of yearly breast cancer screening for women under age 50 who have previously been treated for breast cancer. The RSNA estimates there will be 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in the U.S. this year.

Lead author Nicholas M. Perry, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.S., F.R.C.R., director of The London Breast Institute at The Princess Grace Hospital in London says, "Women in this age group who had undergone mammography the previous year had a mastectomy rate of less than half that of the others."

Study Looks at Frequency of Mammogram, Mastectomy Need

Dr. Perry explains, "We reviewed the records of the women needing mastectomy to determine whether or not they had undergone mammography the previous year.” Perry says the researchers were “surprised” at the benefits of mammogram screening found in women age 40 to 50.


The study looked at frequency of mammogram in women age 40 to 50 that were diagnosed with breast cancer and the type of treatment. Statistics were drawn from The London Breast Institute, between 2003 and 2009, and included 971 women.

Forty percent of 971 women diagnosed with breast cancer were under age 50, 156 had competed treatment at the London Breast Institute - 114 of those had not had a mammogram prior to being diagnosed. The others had received mammogram, but only 16 had had the breast cancer screening within a year and the rest within the previous two years – 29 women.

When the researchers compared outcomes, they that found 64 women, 46 percent, who had not had annual mammography required mastectomy, compared to 3, or 19 percent, of the women who had the years breast screening exam.

Dr. Perry says the findings lend support to the benefits of annual mammogram screening for women diagnosed with breast cancer. In the study, the rate of mastectomy was less than half that of women who waited two years before having the exam.