MONDAY, February 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Distributed mammography screening and major advances in breast cancer treatment have saved hundreds of thousands of American women since 1989, according to a new study.

The researchers followed the 1990-2015 US data on breast cancer deaths, as well as general data on women aged 40 to 84 years. They found the number of breast cancer Deaths averted during this period ranged from 305,000 to more than 483,000, depending on the different approaches used to interpret the data.

They then extrapolated these results until 2018 and calculated that the number of breast cancer avoided deaths averted since 1989 ranged between 384,000 and 614,500.

In 2018 alone, between 27,000 and nearly 46,000 breast cancer deaths were prevented, investigators said.

The results should help reassure women of the value of mammograms, said study author R. Edward Hendrick of the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

Recent studies "have drawn media attention to some of the risks of mammography screening, such as recalls for additional imaging and the biopsies"But these reports have also often overlooked" the most important aspect of screening – that early detection and treatment of breast cancer saves women's lives, "Hendrick said.

mammography Screening began to be widely available in the mid-1980s. The new study estimates that regular screening with improved treatments has reduced the expected breast cancer death rate by 45% to 58% by 2018, according to the new study. the study published February 11 in the journal Cancer.

"Our study demonstrates how the combination of early detection and modern breast cancer treatment has helped prevent breast cancer deaths," Hendrick said in a press release.

A breast cancer doctor applauded this new research.

"We have new immune therapies and improved surgical techniques that are important breakthroughs in breast cancer," said Dr. Alice Police, who heads breast surgery at the Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

"However, the most important factor for centuries to reduce the mortality rate of this devastating and extremely common disease is the humble screening mammogram," she said. "Nothing else in the detection or treatment has even approached."