Some startling statistics were presented on Thursday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which showed that half of U.S. women 40 and older do not get annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer, MSNBC.com
reports. Even more alarming is that 40 percent of women 50 and older do not get the recommended biannual screenings, even with insurance.
"Our study suggests that even among an insured population, many women do not meet that target, and a surprising number do not even have one mammogram in four years," Dr. Milayna Subar, who led the analysis for the Medco Research Institute, a research arm of Medco Health Solutions Inc., told the news outlet.
Subar remarked that many advocacy groups feared that insurance companies would stop covering mammograms for women in their 50s.
"Nobody took away their coverage, but we need to use what we have," Subar told the news source.
The American Cancer Society maintains its stance that women should get a yearly breast exam starting at age 40. They have also stressed that early detection has proven to save lives by spotting tumors early and helping patients avoid toxic and traumatic treatment options.