Alert
Close

Help hungry seniors. Deliver help and hope before Thanksgiving. Donate

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

Mammograms Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths by Almost Half, Study Says

Results contradict recent research on screenings

Overall, women who had at least three mammograms prior to being diagnosed had a 49 percent reduced risk of dying from breast cancer. The greatest reduction was seen in women ages 70 to 75, where death was reduced by 84 percent. Among women ages 50 to 69, the reduction was nearly 40 percent.

The Dutch government "considers it imperative that everyone eligible for a screening program is given the opportunity to participate," Otto said.

Free mammograms are offered to Dutch women 50 and older every two years, and this study shows that women who took part in the screening program cut their risk of dying from breast cancer by half, Otto said.

The Dutch research comes at a time when the benefits of mammograms are being questioned in the United States. A series of contradictory findings, debated among doctors and patients, leave many women bewildered about how often they should be screened for breast cancer. New federal guidelines in 2009 called for less frequent mammograms, and a controversial Dartmouth College analysis in October criticized breast cancer survivors for saying that having a mammogram had saved their life.

That report, by H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., suggested that only a small percentage of those diagnosed with breast cancer were really helped by screening, a conclusion some experts questioned. According to his analysis, at most 13 percent of those diagnosed with breast cancer had been helped by having a mammogram.

"To criticize women who had their breast cancer diagnosed by mammography and say they're delusional because they believed it saved their life — I'm not sure what you gain by that criticism. It seems condescending," Smith says.

What the Dutch study shows, he adds, is that mammogram screening is doing what it's supposed to do — "reduce the rate of advanced disease."

Also of interest: Your guide to screenings and vaccines. >>

Candy Sagon writes about health and nutrition for the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Membership Discount Benefit Pet Plan Dog

Members save 10% or more on Petplan pet insurance premiums.

Senior couple working on laptop. Medicare open enrollment. (David Jakle/Corbis)

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends Dec. 7 ─ AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points