To screen or not to screen, that continues to be the question for women in their 40s.
Though studies of women in this age group have had mixed results, a review by the University of Missouri in the US of patients’ records showed that when tumours were detected by mammography (compared with those found after a woman developed symptoms or her doctor found a lump), they were one-third smaller and half as likely to have spread to the lymph nodes. And women in the screening group were more likely to be alive and disease-free after five years (94% versus 71%), reports lead researcher Dr Paul Dale.
Unsure what’s right for you? Discuss all your risk factors, including alcohol use, weight history and exercise habits, with your doctor.