HealthDay News — Breast cancer patients undergoing screening mammography are statistically less likely to be treated with chemotherapy compared with unscreened patients, according to research presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) annual meeting.

“Screening mammography provides a morbidity benefit with screened patients being able to undergo less toxic and better tolerated treatment than non-screened patients,” wrote Nelly Salem, MD, and researchers.

After comparing the use of breast cancer chemotherapy in 149 female patients aged 40 to 49 years who had undergone screening mammography with that in 81 unscreened patients, the investigators discovered that 81% of high-risk lesions identified were found in the screened population. 

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Of the 230 primary breast cancers identified, unscreened patients were more likely to undergo chemotherapy (P=0.042) than were screened patients.

“Without screening mammography, these asymptomatic high-risk women would be unaware of their risk and the opportunity to decrease their risk of subsequent breast cancer development with use of chemoprevention,” Salem said in a statement.


  1. Salem N et al. (May 2014).  Neglecting to Screen Women Aged 40–49 With Mammography: What Is the Impact on Breast Cancer Treatment and Potential Risk Reduction? Poster presented at the 2014 ARRS Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.