"False positive" results on mammogram screenings can cause women to adapt a psychological well-being more closely matched to that of breast cancer patients than healthy women, according to a new Danish study.
Of the more than 1,300 women studied, those who received false alarms reported symptoms of anxiety and depression that still lingered three years later, long after a cancer diagnosis had been ruled out.
"It is comparable to a life crisis, like getting divorced or the death of a close family member," Dr. John Brodersen, the study's author, said of mammogram false positives. "People don't trust their body anymore; they interpret their body systems differently....These women are turned from healthy people to people [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][at] risk, to people who are close to being sick."
While an x-ray of the breast is often to the first step in diagnosing breast cancer, it can also lead to unnecessary tests and procedures, such as biopsies and lumpectomies, not to mention stress. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women between the ages of 50 and 74 to get a mammogram every two years. Read the full details here:
For every one women saved by cancer screening, 200 women are incorrectly told they have an abnormal finding and ten unnecessary surgeries are performed. The psychological toll is steep.
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