Controversy Surrounds New Mammogram Guidelines among Medical Professionals
Breast cancer has been a growing concern these past few decades and has led to the creation of many initiatives for early detection of the disease. One such detection method is mammogram, a type of X-ray used to examine breast tissue. However, recent changes in mammogram guidelines have sparked controversy among medical professionals.
The American Cancer Society’s New Recommendations
The American Cancer Society (ACS) released new guidelines for mammograms in 2015, stating that women with an average risk of breast cancer could start getting mammograms by the age of 45 and should continue to receive the screening tests annually until the age of 55. Afterward, mammograms may be done every two years. However, women could choose to start having mammograms earlier at the age of 40.
The Risks and Benefits of Mammograms
The ACS decision was based on weighing the risks and benefits of mammograms. Early detection of breast cancer through mammography can increase the chances of survival and lead to less extensive surgery and treatment. However, the detection of noncancerous abnormalities could also lead to unnecessary procedures that can harm the patient physically, emotionally, and financially. Moreover, constant exposure to X-rays can cause cancer.
Controversy Over Mammogram Guidelines
Many healthcare providers disagreed with the new ACS guidelines, leading to confusion among women regarding the right age to start receiving mammograms. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent medical panel, suggested in 2016 that women with an average risk of the disease should get mammograms every two years beginning at the age of 50 up to the age of 74, instead of annually.
However, the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging, and other groups argue that the benefits of mammograms outweigh the harms and that women should start receiving yearly mammograms from the age of 40.
The Importance of Breast Health
Regardless of the controversy surrounding the new mammogram guidelines, it is essential to maintain good breast health. Women should become familiar with their breasts and report any abnormalities, such as lumps or changes in the size, shape, or color of their breast and nipple, to their healthcare provider immediately. Breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms (when appropriate) are valuable tools that can help in early detection and management of breast cancer.
Hashtags: #mammogramguidelines #breastcancer #earlydetection #breasthealth
Recent changes in mammogram guidelines have led to controversy among medical professionals. The American Cancer Society recommends mammograms for women starting at the age of 45, while the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms every two years from the age of 50. Nevertheless, early detection of breast cancer is crucial, and women should maintain good breast health by becoming familiar with their bodies, reporting any abnormalities immediately, and undergoing mammograms when appropriate. #HEALTH