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B. The Truth About Breast Cancer Statistics

Narrator: This is Science Today. There have been recent press reports claiming one out of eight women will develop breast cancer. But according to Karla Kerlikowske, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco, that figure is a bit deceiving.

Kerlikowske: The one in eight is a lifetime and people should realize that. Seventy-five percent of all breast cancer is diagnosed after the age of 50. What's diagnosed under 50 is only twenty-five percent, so the vast majority of breast cancer happens after age 50. If you listen to that one in eight, you wouldn't think that.

Narrator: Although the figures were meant to instigate younger women to get regular mammograms, Kerlikowske says women in their forties don't benefit from mammography as much as women over 50.

Kerlikowske: Older women have the advantage of they've been through menopause, their breasts are now more fatty, it's easier to see the breast tumor and their tumors grow more slowly, so you have the opportunity to find them when they're small and slow growing.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.