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Early mammograms fare well for women with breast cancer risk

Breast cancer screenings could begin earlier for women with a known risk of breast cancer, according to a new study presented at the 33rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Women aged 30-39 with high risk for breast cancer, particularly heredity, may benefit from earlier breast cancer screenings. The American Cancer Society affirms that all women should begin mammogram screenings at age 40, but the new study contests that women with a high predisposition to the disease can't wait that long.

Researchers conducted an 18-year study with breast cancer patients aged 21 to 39. The researchers then grouped the patients based on how the disease was detected, whether by self-examination, mammogram or physician's screening.

81 percent of cases were found by self examination, compared with seven percent by physicians and 12 percent by mammogram. Mammogram screenings detected 26 percent of cases in the 30-34 age group while a whopping 65 percent of cases were detected by mammogram in the 35-39 age group. It seems technology in these early stages can prove invaluable where self-screening cannot.

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 2.5 million cancer survivors living in the United States. 
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