Friday, November 20, 2009

New Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations from Task Force

According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 200,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2009. A mammogram is one of the screening tests doctors use to detect breast cancer in women. A mammography screening every year or two for women age 40 and over was the previous recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s, however, that recommendation was recently changed.

The task force recently updated their guidelines for breast cancer screening, recommending that women ages 40 to 49 make a decision on being screened after talking to their doctor about the benefits and risks of a mammogram. Women in their 40s should not receive routine mammograms, according to the group. For women 50 to 74, the task force recommends mammograms every two years.

Data revealed that mammograms detect breast cancer in about 15 percent of women age 40 to 49. However, a percent also receive false positive mammogram results, causing needless biopsies and unnecessary worry. The task force concluded that women in their 40s should discuss having a mammography at present rather than waiting to their 50s.

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