In a report released on July 26th, the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control showed that 70 percent of women over age 50 have had mammograms within the last two years. This is up from 61 percent in 1994. The report also showed that death rates from breast cancer among women fell to 19 per 100,000 in 1998 from 23 per 100,000 in 1990. The study attributes this decline to better treatment methods and earlier detection. Mammograms are a key method of early detection, and are recommended annually for women over the age of 40 (your doctor may recommend screening earlier if you demonstrate specific risk factors). Clinic breast examinations and breast self-examination are recommended for women aged 20 and older. Visit the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Resource Center for more information.