Federal agency proposes new mammogram guidelines
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends women get mammograms at age 40 instead of age 50.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends women start getting regular mammograms 10 years earlier at age 40, instead of age 50.
Previous Coverage: Start mammograms at 40, not 50, a US health panel recommends
In 2009, the agency controversially advised against routine mammograms for women in their 40s and encouraged them to make individual decisions. New guidelines recommend biennial mammograms starting at 40.
“U.S. Preventative Task Force was the one organization that was really kind of lagging behind what the evidence shows and actually recommending it at age 50,” said Dr. Lindsay Luttrell, a breast cancer survivor and radiologist at Covenant Health.
Various doctors in Knoxville recommend mammograms for women in their 40s every year. “We’ve got one in every six women diagnosis of breast cancer occurs in their forties. That’s huge,” said Luttrell.
The Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center performs dozens of mammograms every day. Many will avoid mammograms out of fear of the exam itself or the results.
“Most women that walk through the door, no matter how many times they’ve come to the breast center for their annual exam, are anxious and worried they might be told they have breast cancer,” said Dr. Kamilia Kozlowski, a clinical breast radiologist at KCBC.
People should talk to their doctor when they should have their first mammogram.
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