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Mammogram Study Reignites Controversy on Breast Cancer Screening

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new study seems poised to reignite the debate over who should receive mammograms and when. The Swedish study found that starting women on mammography at age 40 rather than age 50 was associated with a 26-percent reduction in risk of death from breast cancer -- a finding that raises new questions about what women 40-49 should do about mammography screening. The study comes just a week after another study, also from a Scandinavian country, found that mammography screening contributed only a 10 percent reduction in mortality.  Researchers led by Hakan Jonsson of Umea University in Umea, Sweden reported the findings at a press briefing in advance of a presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Breast Cancer Symposium.  The debate erupted last year when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that women under age 50 don't need routine screening mammography.  USPSTF's earlier stance was in accord with American Cancer Society guidelines suggesting mammography every one to two years for all women age 40 and older.

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