Annual mammograms help detect second breast cancers early, according to a new study conducted by The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC).
For the study, researchers examined 12 years of data from screening mammograms in 19,078 women who had had early-stage breast cancer, compared to data from mammograms in 55,315 women who had no history of breast cancer.
The study found that women with history of breast cancer had double the cancer rates as those without history of breast cancer.
Women with breast cancer history had 655 second cancers within a year of screening mammography, while those with no prior breast cancer had 342 cancers.
However, mammography was associated with high number of false positives and interval cancers
Interval cancers are the cancers which are not detected on mammography but are found between mammography screens, prompted by either breast symptoms or additional testing.
Study researcher Diana Miglioretti said screening mammography does work well in women with a history of breast cancer, so they should continue to get their annual screening mammogram.
"But they also need to remain vigilant because they are at increased risk of cancers not detected on mammography that show up between mammograms," Miglioretti said.