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Annual mammograms in women aged 40 to 59 years do not offer any reduction in mortality from breast cancer beyond that achieved with physical examination or usual care, according to a study that randomly assigned 89 835 women to undergo mammography or clinical breast examinations in 15 teaching hospitals and cancer centers in Canada (Miller A et al. BMJ. doi:10.1136/bmj.g366 [published online February 11, 2014]).
Over the 25-year study, 3250 women in the mammography group and 3133 in the control group were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 500 and 505, respectively, died of their disease. Women who were screened had 5 annual mammograms as well as annual clinical breast examinations. Women in the control group who were aged 40 to 49 years received a single breast examination followed by usual care in the community; women aged 50 to 59 years received annual clinical breast examinations.
Slomski A. Mammography No Benefit in Reducing Deaths From Breast Cancer. JAMA. 2014;311(12):1191. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3043