Pros and Cons of Mammography Screening
Mammography screening is a program that allows for early breast cancer detection to reduce mortality and improve therapeutic options through regular intervals at a cost but is also associated with some side effects. As of now, it is the only method that has been proved to meet the above needs. Starting with the advantages, the following paragraphs will expound on 3 of the benefits of mammography screening and 3 of its shortcomings.
The first and main advantage of mammography screening is mortality reduction but has a challenge in evaluation because death due to cancer occur during the advanced stages period making it hard to assess for this one type of cancer. 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 second advantage brought by the early detection due to mammography screening is the increased probability of early treatment since early detection leads to reduced chemotherapy, low number of mastectomies, and improved results from breast conservation
The last advantage is that there is improved quality assurance of the diagnostic chain where promising infrastructure has been put in place so as to optimize the coordination and cooperation of different sections of diagnostic chain due to the cases of detection without subsequent assessments.
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