Pros and Cons of Mammography Screening
Mammography screening is a program with regular intervals done for the purpose of detecting early breast cancer cases so as to reduce the mortality rate due to this cancer and also improve the therapeutic options available while noting that it is also accompanied with some side effects. Currently, mammography screening is the only proved method to meet the needs above. The following paragraphs will discuss on three advantages of Mammography and four of its disadvantages, starting with the advantages.
Mortality reduction is the first advantage and the major goal of mammography screening but requires many years to be effective as death from all types of cancer occur during the advanced stages hence it is hard to assess it. Mortality reduction is currently estimated between 15% to 30% in a study where 70% of the women did not participate in the program and it is estimated to exceed 35% for those participating.
The other advantage of mammography screening is the improvement of the probability of early disease treatment through early detection which leads to reduced mastectomies number, reduced chemotherapy, and better results in the case of breast conservation.
Lastly, there has been an improvement on the quality assurance of the diagnostic chain seeing that proper infrastructure is being implemented to address a problem that arose where detection happened with no subsequent assessments and diagnosis hence enhancing more collaboration and cooperation between disciplines. read more now
To begin on the shortcomings, the first is that mammography exposes the women to risks of radiation and other risks with the digital mammography techniques offering a dosage of 4mGy per breast, whose effect however decreases with the increase in age, as women beyond 40 years have less chances of dying due to breast cancer.
Secondly, the program, like all other medical tests, have a chance of giving out a false alarm whereby the screening detects abnormalities which are subjects to further evaluation and assessment but may turn to be benign for the second time, making the women who do not come back take the false alarm as the true results. read more now
The last disadvantage of this program is that it comes with a risk of over diagnosis, a case which is made real by the discovery of more cancers by the screening, which if there were no scans, would not have become apparent, a disadvantage since the screening, in such a case does not help in reducing mortality and this can be proved by a study that proved that people who undergo the mammography scan have more likelihood of having breast cancer than those who do not, when age and composition remained the same for both groups. read more now