Does anyone else find it difficult to keep up with the new guidelines for health screenings? Every week they seem to change. This past week, there was an important change we should all make note of regarding new mammography guidelines for breast cancer detection.
The American Cancer Society has been recommending annual mammograms beginning at age 40. But, now a government panel of doctors and scientists claim getting screened for breast cancer so early and so often, may be harmful and may cause too many false alarms, unneeded biopsies without substantially improving a woman's odds of surviving the disease. We all know those false alarms can be stressful and scary.
The new guidelines put out by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are for the general population of women (those at higher risk for breast cancer should have mammograms sooner and more often). But, for the general population:
* Most women in their 40s should not routinely get mammograms
* Women 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown.
The American Cancer Society is still holding to their old guidelines. Confusing? Yes. So, who do you listen to? Do you agree with the new guidelines?
For more information, the Red Hot Mamas discussed this topic in the November 2009 issue, which was released yesterday: www.redhotmamas.org
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