New mammogram guidelines: what you need to know

Mammogram

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — New recommendations by the American Cancer Society say women can wait until the age of 45 to get annual mammograms. This isn’t the first time the guidelines have been changed.

In response to the American Cancer Society’s new guidelines, the Society of Breast Imaging and the American College of Radiology still strongly encourage women to have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. Research shows the incidence of breast cancer begins to noticeably increase around age 40 and the most lives are saved when women begin annual screening at age 40.

Early breast cancer detection reduces deaths, extends life expectancy, and improves quality of life. Early detection also enables less extensive surgery, fewer mastectomies, and less frequent or aggressive chemotherapy.

The over-diagnosis rate is very small and very few invasive cancers are over-diagnosed. There’s no evidence an invasive cancer has gone away or shrank without treatment. Research shows almost all women who experience a “false positive” still endorse regular screening.

You can help fight breast cancer and raise awareness at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event in Grand Rapids on Saturday, October 24. It takes place at Rosa Parks Circle at 10 a.m. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. To sign up or donate, visit www.makingstrides.acsevents.org.

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