The debate over annual mammogram screenings continues this week, as follow-up data from a long-term study come under fire.
Researchers with the Canadian National Breast Screening Studyconducted a 25-year follow-up with their participants and concluded that "annual mammography in women aged 40 to 59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available."
(Adjuvant therapy is treatment given after surgery; this can include chemotherapy, radiation or hormone treatments, according to the National Cancer Institute.)
The results were published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal. But several professional associations and experts have questioned the study authors' conclusions.