Study calls regular mammograms "useless", Columbus expert reacts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Study calls regular mammograms "useless", Columbus expert reacts

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

About 40,000 women die every year from breast cancer, according to Cancer.org.

The good news is that the number of fatalities is decreasing, and many experts attribute that to early detection by having mammogram's. However, a recent study suggests that mammograms are useless.

The new study published in the British Medical Journal claims the death rates from breast cancer were the same in women who got mammogram's as those who did not.

Dr. Wade Wallace, Director of Radiology at the St. Francis Center for Breast Health, says he was shocked when he read the study. 

"This article said that women or their physician that detects lumps in a physical exam is just as good as if they had mammograms. Well, breast lumps are very difficult to detect. A lot of women have lumpy breast. To detect a lump in a lumpy breast is exceedingly difficult sometimes," says Wallace. 

Wallace has over 30 years of experience detecting breast cancer. He says throughout the years he has watched as death rates decreased through the use of mammograms and advanced surgeries. 

"I have looked at ultrasounds, I knew there was a cancer there, and I try to feel it, and I know it's there and I can't feel it," he says.

Researchers claim the study is one of the largest ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century. 

In the United States, about 37 million mammograms are performed annually at a cost of about $100 per mammogram.

Wallace says the study does a disservice to women. He says, "There have been dozens of studies that have shown that women who start getting mammograms at age 40 decreased their risk of dying from breast cancer by 35 to 40 percent."

Nearly three-quarters of women age 40 and over say they had a mammogram in the past year. That number increases to more than 90 percent of women over age 50.

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S.

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