Should Women Get Regular Mammograms Essay

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For the first time in more than 30 years, the American Cancer Society is changing its guidelines about when women should start getting regular mammograms, and how often.
The new rules, published in today’s JAMA (formerly known as the Journal of the American Medical Association), say women at average risk should wait until they’re 45 to start getting mammograms. Women should get one every year until they’re 55, then get one every other year. Cancer researchers say breast cancers tend to grow more slowly after menopause, making it safe for women to be checked less often as they age.
While mammograms are one of the best known tools for early detection of breast cancer, the new guidelines say doctors no longer need to do breast exams during women 's checkups. Dr. Michelle Sahinler, a Grace Health System gynecologist, says women should do a breast self-exam monthly, and their doctor should still do a yearly exam. “I’ve detected a lump in the last year in a patient who ended up having breast cancer,” she says.
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But not all tumors are life-threatening. Experts say doctors can’t tell which breast tumors are harmless; so many mammograms produce a “false positive”. These false results can cause women to have surgery, radiation and other unnecessary treatments.
Despite the new changes, the American Cancer Society says it’s still important for a woman to talk with her doctor about her risk, and decide what’s best for her health. If she decides to get a mammogram between the ages of 40-44, can still get one, and women older than 55 can still get one every year. Dr. Sahinler agrees with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) which says women should get a mammogram every one to two years, starting at the age of

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