New Guidelines Recommend Regular Mammograms Starting at Age 40

New U.S. Preventative Services Task Force guidelines recommend that women receive mammograms every other year starting at age 40, ten years earlier than the previous recommendation.

“We’ve always recommended that women start screening at age 40 because we felt that that would save the most lives from breast cancer,” said Debbie L. Bennett, MD, associate professor of radiology and chief of breast imaging at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) in an interview with FOX 2. Bennett also oversees breast imaging services at Siteman Cancer Center.

The new guidelines are focused on women in their 40s prior to menopause and recommend screening every other year; however, Bennett said many experts agree that women should be screened every year to catch and treat breast cancer in its early, more manageable stage.

“The latest research in terms of breast cancer screening shows that if you were to start screening women at age 40 and screen every year, you would reduce the number of women dying from breast cancer by about 42%.” She recommends women talk about the new guidelines with their healthcare provider to determine when to start receiving mammograms based on their personal risks.

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