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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota: Women Perceive the Potential Benefits of Mammograms to be More Important than the Potential Harms

In 2009, disagreement in the health community arose following a recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force against routine mammogram screening for women ages 40-49 who are at average risk for breast cancer. Then, in 2015, the American Cancer Society updated its 2003 breast cancer screening guidelines, changing the recommended starting age of routine screening from 40 to 45. These new recommendations all emphasized the importance of younger women weighing the potential benefits of mammograms against the possible harms to make an informed decision about when to begin routine screenings.

In a study recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine, University of Minnesota researchers surveyed 557 U.S. women aged 30-59 regarding their views on mammograms.

The study found:

“Since our data suggest the benefits of screening may be more readily understood and appreciated by women, providers and public health practitioners may need to use various methods to integrate discussion of potential harms into conversations about screening initiation,” said lead author Ms. Xuanzi Qin, a School of Public Health doctoral student.

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