WMDT 47 NEWS - New research suggests starting breast cancer screening at age 40 might be worthwhile despite controversy over mammograms.
Mammograms have been shown to help detect tumors early while they're easier to treat. But some experts say "false positives" are common and can lead to anxiety, more-invasive testing and even unnecessary treatment. Screening tests also deliver a small dose of radiation which itself may slightly raise long-term cancer risks.
"A lot of times you have a patient who has risk factors that are greater than the common general person and we need to do them earlier," explains Claudia Johnson with the College of Health and Public Policy at Delaware State University. "I mean, if there's a family member that is 32 with breast cancer, they need to have it earlier so we can catch it earlier."
Agnes Richardson, DSU Asso. Professor of Nursing agrees, "In particular among African Americans, we know that they often suffer a higher rate of cancers in addition to where they are identified. They're usually at a later stage, than their counterparts."
1 in 8 U.S. women will developed invasive breast cancer at some point, according to estimates. But less than a quarter of them will die from it.
The following are resources in Delaware for individuals who need services for screening, diagnosis and treatment:
Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
New Castle Office: 111 W 11th St Suite 3 Wilmington. DE 19801 (302)778-1102
Kent Office: 165 Commerce Way Suite 2 Dover, DE 19904 (302)672-6435
Sussex Office: 16529 Coastal Hwy Suite 116 Lewes, DE 19958 (302)644-8844
Woman's Mobile Health Screening Van travels all over the state. Call for more information: 1-888-672-9647 (WMHS)
Delaware Screening for Life: (302)744-1040 or toll free 1-800-464-4357