Unreliable Breast Test

In younger women, mammograms don't seem to prevent cancer deaths

SHOULD WOMEN UNDER 50 HAVE MAMMOGRAMS TO detect breast cancer? The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society say yes -- every year or two. But a Canadian study last year seemed to say no, and an accumulation of new research supports that conclusion. While older women benefit from the specialized X-ray procedure -- those who have mammograms are less likely to die of breast cancer than those who don't -- there appears to be no difference in mortality for younger women. Mammograms may be much less likely to detect incipient tumors in younger women because their breast tissue is...

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