The American Cancer Society has released new guidelines for breast cancer screening. Among the changes, the new recommendations say all women should begin having yearly mammograms at age 45, and can change to having mammograms every other year beginning at age 55.
But this new change, while a relief to some, brings confusion to the issue, and angers some survivors. The confusion comes from the face that three key groups — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force — recommend different ages for starting regular mammograms: 40, 45 and 50 respectively. The reason for that? Everyone agrees that while mammograms save lives, they can also cause harm, and each group does a different job of balancing the pros and cons.