Hundreds of thousands of women's lives have been saved by mammography and improvements in breast cancer treatment since 1989, according to a study published in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
According to the report,,female breast cancer mortality rates in the United States increased by 0.4% per year from 1975 to 1990. Since 1990, those rates have fallen between 1.8% and 3.4% per year, a decrease that is attributed to increased mammography screening and the improved treatment.
Estimates range from more than 305,000 to more than 483,000 women whose lives were saved between 1990 and 2015, depending on different background mortality assumptions.Researchers estimated that in 2018 alone, an estimated 27,083 to 45,726 breast cancer deaths were averted.
Researchers analyzed breast cancer mortality data and female population data for U.S. women aged 40 to 84 years over the past three decades.
“Recent reviews of mammography screening have focused media attention on some of the risks of mammography screening, such as call-backs for additional imaging and breast biopsies, downplaying the most important aspect of screening—that finding and treating breast cancer early saves women's lives. Our study provides evidence of just how effective the combination of early detection and modern breast cancer treatment have been in averting breast cancer deaths,” said R. Edward Hendrick, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine,
Only about half of U.S. women over 40 years of age currently receive regular screening mammography, he said. “The best possible long-term effect of our findings would be to help women recognize that early detection and modern, personalized breast cancer treatment saves lives and to encourage more women to get screened annually starting at age 40.”
[PAT'S NOTE:] Both my cancers were caught early on mammograms, so I'm onboard with this one.