BEND, Ore. - The American Cancer Society released new breast cancer screening guidelines on Tuesday. The new guidelines say women should get yearly mammograms starting at the age of 45, rather than 40, as before.
The reason for the change is because of new clinical trials that show a large amount of false positives in younger women. One reason for the false positives is because younger women have denser breasts.
Oncologist Dr. Cora Calomeni of St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend says the guidelines are just that -- guidelines.
"Breast cancer is not a 'one size fits all' disease," Calomeni said.
She also said the guidelines are on track for women with average chances of getting breast cancer. A woman has a 9 to 13 percent chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. However, she says the guidelines might be too lax for women who fall into a high-risk category.
"I still recommend that younger women have mammograms on a yearly basis, because younger women usually have more aggressive cancers," Calomeni said.
The best way to find out risk potential is to speak to a physician. Calomeni said she asks questions such as: Do you have any relatives with malignancies? When did those relatives get cancer? How old were they?
For more information about the new guidelines, visit: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/specialcoverage/american-cancer-society-breast-cancer-screening-guidelines