HealthDay News — The benefit of screening mammography may continue with increasing age up until 90, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from November 27 to December 2 in Chicago.

Cindy Lee, MD, an assistant professor in residence at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated data on patient age, mammogram results, recall rates for more testing, biopsy referrals, and biopsy results. The investigators also looked at the percentage of breast cancers found when a biopsy was recommended or performed. 

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In the analysis, which included data from 39 states from 2008 through 2014, 3.74 breast cancers were found for every 1,000 patients screened. The recall rate was 10%. Based on increasing age from 40 to 90 years old, performance metrics demonstrated a gradual upward trend for cancer detection rate, positive predictive value for biopsy recommended, and biopsy performed, and a downward trend in recall rate.

“The continuing increase of cancer detection rate and positive predictive values in women between the ages of 75 and 90 does not provide evidence for age-based mammography cessation,” Lee said in a statement. The study authors note that the findings suggest screening cessation should be informed by an individual’s personal health history and preferences.

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