(HealthDay News) – Women in their 40s, with at least a two-fold increased risk of breast cancer, benefit from biennial screening mammography; and having extremely dense breasts or first-degree relatives with breast cancer is associated with a two-fold increased risk of breast cancer for women in their 40s.

Nicolien T. van Ravesteyn, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a comparative modeling study to identify the threshold relative risk at which the ratio of harms to benefits of screening women aged 40–49 years was equal to that of biennial screening for women aged 50–74 years. The researchers found that women with a two-fold increased risk above average have the same false-positive findings/life-years gained with digital mammography starting at age 40 as women aged 50–74 years who undergo biennial screening.

Heidi D. Nelson, MD, MPH, from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses of 66 studies to identify the risk factors for breast cancer in women aged 40–49 years. The researchers observed a two-fold increase in risk for women with extremely dense breasts on mammography or with a first-degree relative who had breast cancer. A 1.5- to two-fold increased risk was seen for women with prior breast biopsy, second-degree relatives with breast cancer, or heterogeneously dense breasts.

“Identification of these risk factors may be useful for personalized mammography screening,” Nelson and colleagues conclude.

Abstract – van Ravesteyn
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Abstract – Nelson
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