Of the nearly 30 million American women who undergo screening mammograms every year, up
to 11 percent receive "probably benign" test results and therefore are asked to come back for a follow-up
mammogram in three to six months. But according to a new study by UC Davis researchers, such frequent
re-testing may be unnecessary.
The study, appearing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that among women who had
probably benign mammo- grams, only 1 percent went on to develop breast cancer within two years.
"This result suggests that the current recommendation repeat mammography within six months should
be reconsidered," said Shagufta Yasmeen, UC Davis assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and
lead author of the study. "Going in for a repeat mammogram involves significant psychological trauma,
expense and inconve- nience, and can lead to unneces- sary biopsies and other tests. Our study suggests
this recommenda- tion may be given too often, and may not be necessary in some cases. One-year follow-up
may be more appropriate for most of these women."