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When a woman's lab testing for breast cancer involves mammography, tumors tend to be diagnosed at an earlier stage and are treated more effectively, according to a new study published in the journal Radiology.
Researchers from the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle examined the medical records of nearly 2,000 women between the ages of 40 and 49 who were treated for breast cancer between 1990 and 2008.
The results showed that patients whose cancer was diagnosed through mammography had tumors that were easier to treat and were less likely to experience a recurrence. These women were also less likely to die from breast cancer.
The researchers said that high rates of mammography tend to catch breast cancer in women earlier than when it is discovered by the individual or her doctor. This makes a major difference in the ability of physicians to treat the condition.
Earlier diagnosis tends to mean that an individual will require less invasive treatments that are easier for women to handle. Women with early-stage breast cancer may not even need to undergo chemotherapy, which can take a major toll on the body.
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