American Cancer Society Recommends Fewer Mammograms

One of the most respected and influential groups in the continuing breast-cancer screening debate said on Tuesday that women should begin mammograms later and have them less frequently than it had long advocated.

The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years.

The organization also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts.

Previously, the society recommended mammograms and clinical breast exams every year, starting at 40.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary