Mercy Radiologist Dr. Jean Warner Discusses Whether Age Plays A Factor In Mammograms

April 10, 2017
Women's Imaging - Baltimore

Many women question whether they need a mammogram as they age. Until recently, most studies looked at patients under the age of 74. But new research is now prompting the discussion of how old is too old for a mammogram?

Susan Komornik life is full of travel and adventure and she said she is always up for a new experience. It is one of the reasons she is diligent about getting an annual mammogram.

“The safety, the feeling of that safety net of having that done knowing that there's no problem,” Komornik said.

That is something Mercy radiologist Dr. Jean Warner, Director of The Tyanna O’Brien Center for Women’s Imaging, likes to hear.

Warner said screening saves lives. Often, her older patients wonder if they need a mammogram as they age.

“I do have patients who come in and they are 85 years old and they had their screening and I'm giving them their results and they're asking me, ‘Should I keep doing this?’ and we have a discussion,” Dr. Warner said.

New research from a University of California study helps with that discussion.

In the past, studies were randomized, controlled trials and only investigated women up to age 74.

But the new research found there is no clear age cut-off point.

“It works very well and it may actually work even better than in younger women,” Dr. Warner said. “The older we get, the decision is whether that older woman is still healthy enough to benefit from screening.”

Dr. Warner also noted the efficacy of “tomosynthesis,” also known as 3D mammography, which is available in Mercy’s Women’s Imaging center.

Komornik said she will be back for a mammogram for years to come.

“I will continue to have them,” Komornik said. “Unless someone says there's not a benefit to doing it, it doesn't make sense not to do it.”

View Dr. Jean Warner’s interview regarding mammograms.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

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