Last Tuesday, I shared that I’d been sent to an oncologist. Last Thursday, I shared that my prognosis is 98% nothing wrong. Today, I want to abstract an article the oncologist gave me about screening practices.
Okay, so there’s:
- Ultrasonography plus mammography
- Tomosynthesis plus mammography
- Clinical breast examination (the doc does it)
- self breast examination (the patient does it)
- MRI plus mammography
The most important harms associated with early detection of breast cancer through mammographic screening are false positive results, overdiagnosis, and possibly radiation-induced cancer. … After a careful evaluation of the balance between the benefits and adverse effects of mammographic screening, the working group concluded that there is a net benefit from inviting women 50 to 69 years of age to receive screening.
Adding ultrasonography or tomosynthesis can increase rate of detection, but ultrasonography can increase false positives (which means unnecessary stress and biopsies), and tomosynthesis increases the radiation dose.
…clinical breast examination combined with mammographic screening increased the breast-cancer detection rate by 5 to 10 percentage points as compared with mammography alone.
Overall, surveys in general populations have shown that the numbers of women who report practicing breast self-examination are probably too few to have had an effect on mortality from breast cancer.
So that’s why my oncologist recommended I continue annual mammograms and annual clinical breast exams, rather than sending me for further tests. With only a 2% lifetime risk of breast cancer, at the age of nearly 65, I’d be running a bigger risk by doing anything else.
YMMV, and you should always consult your doctor before making any medical decisions.
On a totally different subject, today’s Tuesday, and I’m posting at Fatal Foodies about my own contribution to World Cuisine, gnocci stir-fry.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Make your main character have to make a medical decision.