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.
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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.
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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.
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.