Breasts deemed "dense" in a mammogram tend to have less fatty tissue and more connective tissue, breast ducts and glands, doctors say. About 40 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 74 have dense breasts. Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images

In a study of 1.3 million women, ages 40 to 74, having a false positive on a screening mammogram was associated with a slightly increased chance that the woman would eventually develop breast cancer. The extra risk seemed to be independent of the density of her breasts. Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images

False Alarm Mammograms May Still Signal Higher Breast Cancer Risk

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458057324/458127788" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A woman's health history and tolerance for different kinds of risks should have a legitimate role in determining the timing of when she starts and stops getting screening mammograms, some leading doctors say. Sally Elford/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sally Elford/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Why Is Mammogram Advice Still Such A Tangle? Ask Your Doctor

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/450333627/450464773" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The American Cancer Society has pushed back the age at which most women should begin having mammograms to 45. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto

Cancer Group Now Says Most Mammograms Can Wait Till 45

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/449920789/450321245" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lateral mammogram showing a tumor iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto

Surgeon Seeks To Help Women Navigate Breast Cancer Treatment

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/442343578/442560742" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Science-based guidelines say there's no benefit to getting an EKG of heart activity before routine cataract surgery — even if the patient is old. But most doctors order such tests anyway. Bull's Eye/ImageZoo/Corbis hide caption

toggle caption
Bull's Eye/ImageZoo/Corbis

Why Many Doctors Don't Follow 'Best Practices'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/401258904/401540588" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Betty Daniel gets a routine yearly mammogram from mammography tech Stella Palmer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago in 2012. Heather Charles/MCT/Landov hide caption

toggle caption
Heather Charles/MCT/Landov

Breast Cancer: What We Learned In 2012

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/167973537/168394000" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A mammographer prepares a screen-film mammography test for patient Alicia Maldonado at a hospital in Los Angeles. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Damian Dovarganes/AP

With Routine Mammograms, Some Breast Cancers May Be Overtreated

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/165668987/165677730" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mammograms may pose a particular risk to women with genetic mutations that predispose them to breast cancer. Bill Branson/National Cancer Institute hide caption

toggle caption
Bill Branson/National Cancer Institute

Radiologist Gerald Iba checks mammograms at The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles in May 2010. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Karen Lindsfor, a professor of radiology and chief of breast imaging at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, examines the mammogram of a patient with heterogeneously dense breast tissue. Lindfors is among those doctors who say there was insufficient evidence to support the idea that additional screenings would detect cancers earlier. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Studies Reignite Mammography Debate For Middle-Aged Women

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151655064/151714158" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The problem of breast cancer overdiagnosis with mammograms is similar to the dilemma faced by men diagnosed with prostate cancer because of a PSA test. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Damian Dovarganes/AP