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Mammograms at 45: American Cancer Society Ups Age for 1st Screening

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By    |   Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 03:38 PM

Mammograms starting later at age 45 and switching to every other year at age 55 for women with an average risk for breast cancer comprise some of the new recommendations issued by the American Cancer Society in a set of guidelines published on Tuesday.

These new guidelines, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, mark the latest steps that the American Cancer Society has taken in moving closer towards those held by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, according to U.S. News Health.

Previous American Cancer Society guidelines recommended that women with an average risk for breast cancer should start having mammograms at age 40 rather than 45, and cautioned them to start undergoing mammograms every other year at age 55 rather than 50, according to The Associated Press.

The American Cancer Society also no longer recommends that women receive clinical breast exams at any age if they have shown no previous symptoms or abnormalities, The New York Times reported. These shifting policies bolster recent claims that mammography and clinical examinations are imperfect, less useful, and may have serious drawbacks or lead to false-alarms and other unnecessary tests.

More than 200,000 U.S. women each year are diagnosed with breast cancer and, of those women, approximately 40,000 die each year, according to the AP.

Despite the American Cancer Society’s shifting research and recommendations, Dr. Richard Wender, the cancer society’s cancer control chief, stressed that “The most important message of all is that a mammogram is the most effective thing that a woman can do to reduce her chance of dying from breast cancer,” according to the AP.

However, not everyone agrees with the latest published guidelines.

“Early detection of breast cancer is critical for improving breast cancer survival, regardless of therapy advances,” Dr. Debra Monticciolo, the chair of the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission, told the AP. “Moving away from annual screening of women ages 40 and older puts women's lives at risk.”

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Mammograms starting later at age 45 and switching to every other year at age 55 for women with an average risk for breast cancer comprise some of the new recommendations issued by the American Cancer Society in a set of guidelines published on Tuesday.
mammogram, 45, guidelines, american cancer society
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2015-38-20
Tuesday, 20 Oct 2015 03:38 PM
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