By Dr. Max Gomez

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A new study suggests the benefits of getting a mammogram may be more modest than previously estimated.

The survey found women in Norway in their fifties and sixties who got a mammogram every other year reduced their risk of dying of breast cancer by 10 percent.

That’s a much smaller benefit than estimated by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which put that number at 15 to 23 percent.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that increased awareness and improved treatments – not mammograms – are the main force in reducing the breast cancer death rate.

The study does not mean, however, that women should stop having mammograms. For now, that is still the best way doctors have of finding early, curable cancer.

Dr. Max Gomez