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Study: False positives lead to delay in next mammogram screening

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A study released raised new concerns about one of the most common screening tests for breast cancer.

The study found women who have false positive screening mammograms were more likely to delay the next screening or not have another test at all compared to those with a true result. That can be a sign people need some support during that time, which was what groups like the Pink Ribbon Girls were all about.

They have a mission to help balance fear and uncertainty. In the study from the American Association for Cancer Research Researchers looked at those who were told they had something wrong on a mammogram which turned out not to be true. Even though women are told to follow up at least a year later, many they concluded do not or delay that visit compared to those with a true result.

The concern from survivors was that it could delay a diagnosis of breast cancer. So they do encourage women to ask questions and not fear they were alone.

Jan Middleton with Pink Ribbon Girls said, "Also, you know, I always say education is power, educate yourself,. I've been sharing on my Facebook page just these simple info graphics that say, know what these risks are."

Sometimes there were other risks which would encourage women to get regular screenings such as a family history of the disease but sometimes there were not. So, if women get a false alarm they may not feel it's important to go back again. The problem was that something suspicious that initially was nothing can turn into something. It's suggested people don't let that fear keep them from returning.

Middleton said they provide support for women who have concerns and if they are diagnosed Pink Ribbon Girls also provides free transportation, cleaning, meals, and babysitting for families in cancer care.

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