Breast cancer is one of the most talked about medical topics in today’s society. The National Cancer Institute estimates that this year alone 231,840 new cases will be diagnosed and 40,290 people will die from it. As we are drawing near to the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the American Cancer Society has brought to the public’s attention several ways that women should alter their breast cancer prevention habits.
Just this week, the American Cancer Society released a statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggesting that women should have yearly mammograms from ages 45 to 54. The American Cancer Society also recommends women to get mammograms every other year after the age of 54. In previous years, the recommended age to begin having mammograms and breast exams was 40.
The reason for this change was a result of data observation by the American Cancer Society. It concluded that younger people are at a slightly higher risk for breast cancer, so mammograms are not always useful to them. Their mammograms may even show false results, leading to further unnecessary tests and biopsies.
Despite the new suggestions, the American Cancer Society said that women should still have the opportunity to start testing at an age younger than the new recommendation if they wish to do so. Some people are at a greater risk for breast cancer than others. Everyone should consult with their doctors to find out how often they should get mammograms.