Study Finds Early Breast Cancer Screening May Help Some

Cancer Misdiagnosis

A study published in the journal Cancer found that starting breast cancer screening as early as age twenty-five may help some women live longer. Particularly, early detection processes such as mammograms or MRIs were effective in women with certain gene mutations; BRCA1 and BRCA2. Each of these gene mutations is known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Only about one in ten women under forty with breast cancer actually had this mutation.

The study reported that compared to women who had no screening at all, those with annual screenings from age twenty-five on extended life by 1.3 to 1.8 years, while breast MRI every six months extended life by 1.5 to 1.7 years. However, these tests sometimes had flaws. For example, BRCA1 carriers typically had two false positives from the screenings when they annually used mammograms, and four false positives with MRIs. It was worse for BRCA2 carriers who had three-eight false positives.
Of course something that strikes my mind is what about cost? These tests are expensive, aren’t they? The average MRI costs more than a thousand dollars per test, while mammograms cost two-hundred or less. But overall, a co-author of the study remarked that the screening will decrease the amount of breast cancer deaths.

If you have any questions or concerns please consult a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney.