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Screening for breast cancer reduces death due to breast cancer in women 50 to 69 years of age who have an average risk

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Review Questions

In women who have average risk for cancer, what are the benefits and harms of screening for breast cancer in women less than 50 years, between 50 to 69 years, or between 70 to 74 years of age?


Breast cancer screening involves regular examination of women’s breasts with mammography to detect cancer. Screening is more likely to detect cancer in early stages, when it is small and has had less chance to spread. When detected early, there are more treatment options and often a better outcome.

Breast cancer screening may also lead to overdiagnosis, where a cancer that would not have caused harm during a woman’s lifetime is detected and treated, or to false-positive results, where the screening test is positive, but follow-up tests are negative for cancer. False-positive results can cause anxiety and psychological distress due to worry about having breast cancer when breast cancer is not actually present.


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  • Published

    Feb 25, 2021

  • Subject Area
    • Mental Health and Wellness
    • Information, Referral, & Advocacy
  • Audience
    • Health Authorities
  • Category


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