New Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

New Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

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The debate over breast cancer screening has left many women confused. While women have been encouraged to get an annual mammogram after turning 40, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is continuing to recommend mammograms every other year for women ages 50 to 74. The group says screening can be effective for women in their 40s, but over-diagnosis is a concern. Dr. Albert Siu is part of the Task Force. “The benefits are smaller, the harms need to be carefully viewed. The task force supports women having this information and making individualized informed choices.”

The recommendations come after the American Cancer Society said in October that women should now start annual mammograms at age 45. Dr. Freya Schnabel of NYU Langone Medical Center says she's concerned about the message young women may be getting. “They don't need to examine their breasts, their doctors don't need to look, they don't need mammograms, together those three things create a very worrisome vacuum for me. We have to remember that women in their 40s and below still get breast cancer.”

Fortunata Kasege is 41 years old and is about to have her first mammogram. “I think prevention is better than cure.” She says she also plans to discuss how often she should be screened with her doctor.

The task force is also calling for more research on newer technologies to diagnose breast cancer - including 3D mammograms. The group says at this point, it does not have evidence to make recommendations in those areas.

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