Nearly three quarters of deaths from breast cancer occur among women who've not undergone mammographic screening, according to a study in Cancer.
Researchers in Massachusetts examined the medical records of some 7300 women who were diagnosed with potentially curable (stages I to III) invasive breast cancer from 1990 through 1999 and followed them through 2007. During that time, there were roughly 600 proven breast cancer deaths — 71% of which occurred among unscreened women. Half of all breast cancer deaths occurred among those younger than 50.
The researchers conclude: "To maximize mortality reduction and life-years gained, initiation of regular screening before age 50 years should be encouraged."