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More evidence shows annual mammogram beginning at age 40 could save lives

More evidence shows annual mammogram beginning at age 40 could save lives
More evidence shows annual mammogram beginning at age 40 could save lives 01:06

BOSTON – There is more evidence that annual breast cancer screening beginning at age 40 saves lives, but not all experts have agreed with this recommendation.

While there is little question that getting regular mammograms improves breast cancer survival, there has been some debate about when to start and how often to get screened. 

In this study, researchers at Dartmouth reviewed the outcomes of four different screening practices -- such as screening every two years compared to every year, or starting at age 40 versus age 50. They found that annual screening starting at age 40 until at least age 79 saved the most lives, reducing mortality by more than 40%. 

Right now, only about half of eligible women participate in annual screening, so researchers are urging primary care providers to emphasize what they call the "tremendous benefits" of getting a mammogram every year starting at age 40. 

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