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Lab testing has become a controversial topic within the field of breast cancer. The U.S. government has said that mammograms may do more harm than good in women with few risk factors, but a new study is questioning the wisdom of this policy.
A team of researchers from Elizabeth Wende Breast Cancer in Rochester, New York, examined the medical records of their patients and found relatively high rates of breast cancer among women between the ages of 40 and 49, even among those who have no family history of the disease.
This is the same group of women who were advised by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 to not seek annual breast cancer tests.
"We believe this study demonstrates the importance of mammography screening for women in this age group, which is in opposition to the recommendations issued by the task force," said Stamatia V. Destounis, who led the investigation.
The findings suggest that further research should be conducted to determine a women's true risk of breast cancer during her 40s. Furthermore, individuals may benefit from talking to their doctors about whether testing is right for them.
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