In 2009, the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommended against annual mammograms for women at average risk for breast cancer between the ages of 40 and 49. Almost four years later a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital shows mammography rates have not declined among women in their forties.
"I think it's pretty clear that women understand the value of mammography," says Dr. Paul Tartter at Roosevelt Hospital.
Researchers looked at data on nearly 28,000 women before and after the new screening recommendations were made. Many groups including the American Cancer Society still recommend women start annual mammograms at age 40. Dr. Tartter says while early testing can lead to unnecessary biopsies the risk is not worth the benefit.
"The cancers that mammograms pick up are the early cancers, the noninvasive cancers that are very curable," says Dr. Tartter.