I don't know about you, but I read this article from Reuters and feel a little queasy.The article reviews the results of a comprehensive survey of accuracy of diagnostic mammograms, over 7 years and 36,000 mammograms.
And let's keep in mind that "diagnostic" mammograms are what they call the ones that happen after a lump has been found.
On average, 21 percent of breast cancers were missed and 4.3 percent of women underwent a biopsy even though they didn't have breast cancer
21% were missed!!! That's unbelievably high!
I have this "shadow" in my mammogram. it wasn't there when I got my baseline mammogram done at 35 (which I know not everyone gets) but was suddenly there when i took my first routine mammogram at age 40. Another mammogram and ultrasound followed. But since no one could feel anything, nor could they find anything during the ultrasound, they decided it was just a slightly denser spot of breast tissue. I then spent two years going for mammograms every six months to make sure it didn't change, which it didn't. And now I'm back to an annual schedule.
And feeling a little more nervous about it than I was before reading this article.
One suggestion from the folks conducting and analyzing the survey? If you live in an area where there is not a high incidence of breast cancer cases, you might take the time and trouble to get yourself to the closest city that has a specialty practice. As they put it: An hour's drive might be worth the greater expertise.
'Cause most people's health coverage is all flexible like that, right?