Mammograms, breast cancer treatment saving thousands of lives

Mammograms, breast cancer treatment saving thousands of lives

The charity's chief executive, Baroness Delyth Morgan said that earlier tests could prove to be "an enormous breakthrough".

Based on the findings, leading United Kingdom clinicians and researchers suggest that regular screening in women identified at moderate or high risk of breast cancer could be extended from ages 40-49 to also include women aged 35-39.

The study of 2,900 women at 34 screening centres, found tumours in 50 women aged 35 to 39 who had breast cancer in their family.

Some good news about the fight against breast cancer.

In a major new trial, annual mammograms for younger women detected the disease when tumours were far smaller and before the cancer had spread, giving patients a much better chance of survival.

Across all ages, breast cancer is the UK's most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and 350 men diagnosed each year in the UK.

The BTHO Breast Cancer Game will also feature a survivors walk at half-time for women who have either defeated breast cancer or are now battling it.

Experts also found that earlier screening meant tumours were less likely to have spread to the lymph nodes - a sign that cancer is spreading around the body.

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Of the 35 tumours, 80% (28/35) were detected by screening when the tumour was 2cm or smaller in size, and only 20% (7/35) had spread to the lymph nodes.

At the moment women are eligible for a scan due to their family history from the age of 40.

"While this trial is really encouraging, these are the first results to show that screening would be effective for this age group - and it may still be some time before this option could be extended to women aged 35-39".

"While we now need to understand the full balance of risks, costs and benefits of mammography in this group, we are extremely excited by the potential to adapt our world-class NHS screening services to prevent more deaths from breast cancer in younger women".

Baroness Morgan said: "Early detection remains absolutely critical to stopping women dying from breast cancer".

A specialist will consider the pattern of these familial cancers, including ages at diagnosis, and other factors such as a woman's age or any prior breast or ovarian cancers - giving an overall estimate as to whether they are at "moderate" (17-29% lifetime risk3), "high" (30% or higher lifetime risk) or "general population" risk (~11% lifetime risk).

"In the absence of screening, it is so important for women at increased risk to remain breast aware and to report any unusual changes in your breasts to your doctor", she said.

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