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Mammogram Controversy Disputed by Ohio Breast Specialists

COLUMBUS (Terri Sullivan/Kate Liebers) -- A recent study suggests mammograms may not be as life-saving as women have been led to believe.

The study, published in Britain, revealed the death rates of breast cancer patients who got mammograms were the same those who did not. The study pertained to patients between the ages of 40 and 59 years old.

When ABC 6/FOX 28 questioned a local doctor about the findings, she questioned the researchers' methods.

"I've not read it in detail yet, but I have issues with the condensed study I read," said Dr. Mary Pat Borgess, an Ohio Health breast specialist.

She said the new study included an older, bigger Canadian study, which has been widely discredited in the US.

One problem critics cited was that the women involved in the study were not randomly selected. Additionally, the study analyzed only one view of the breast; in the US, it is standard to review two sides. Finally, the equipment used in the study was considered by some to be sub-standard.

The new study suggests that 22 percent of women with cancers detected by mammograms were over-diagnosed -- and subjected to unnecessary treatment -- because their screenings found slow-growing cancers that would not have caused harm.
Dr. Borgess said those types of cancers haven't been identified.

"If you're talking to a 45-year-old woman and say, 'You may have a non-invasive cancer. Let's just wait and watch it for awhile, see if it turns into something,' most people would be very, very uncomfortable," she said.

She encouraged women to get mammograms.
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