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Long Term Benefits of Breast Screenings

4:22 PM, Jul 7, 2011   |    comments
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(WUSA)-- A three-decade long study provides further evidence that breast screening reduces the number of deaths per year.

The Swedish study by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London followed 130,00 women and showed that screening with mammography only led to fewer deaths from breast cancer compared to a non-screened group.

These women have now been followed for 29 years to find how many died of the disease.

"Breast cancer can take many years to develop so to tell if screening is effective, we need to see how women fair in the long-term," says senior author, Professor Stephen Duffy.

The findings reported that one cancer death was prevented for every 400 to 500 women in the screening group. It also found that 30 percent fewer women died of breast cancer, and continued year after year.

"This suggests that the long-term benefits of screening, in terms of death prevented, are more than double those often quoted for short-term follow-up. "Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain who will and who won't develop breast cancer. But if you take part in screening and you are diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage, the changes that it will be successfully treated are very good," adds Duffy.