MIAMI (CBS4) – Women are suffering through another round of mammogram confusion thanks to more new guidelines.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends women start getting mammograms at age 40, and continuing every year.READ MORE: Parental Rights Bill Sent To Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
The advice comes less than two years after a government task force suggested women in their 40’s didn’t need mammograms, and women over 50 get them every other year.
CBS4 News talked to a doctor and patient who welcomed the update.
Arlene Mion-Pestano says she did everything right.
“I worked out, I was very healthy, I took care of myself,” said Mion-Pestano.
But two years ago, at age 45, her doctor told her she had breast cancer.
“And then it was like, am I going to die? No? Okay so what do we have to do?” said Mion-Pestano.
Today, Mion-Pestano is cancer-free, but she says, that’s only because the tumor was caught early.
“Thank god that I get my test done every year,” she told CBS4’s Gio Benitez.READ MORE: Coral Gables Man Refuses To Sell Family House Swallowed By Massive Development
That’s exactly what the ACOG now recommends, annual screenings for women starting at age 40.
“These guidelines are much more acceptable,” said radiologist Dr. Lori DeFillipo, who sees many young breast cancer patients.
Dr. DeFillipo was outraged last year when a government panel said women under 50 don’t need regular screenings.
“Many women will take that and run with it,” said Dr. DeFillipo.
The contradicting studies may still leave women confused, but Dr. DeFillipo said many doctors will recommend early screenings.
“And a lot of women are in their 30s! Young moms,” said Mion-Pestano.
“If it’s caught in stage one, 98 percent of these tumors are curable,” said Dr. DeFillipo.
Mion-Pestano was cured, but it has not been an easy journey.
“Breast cancer is not just something that affects me. It affects family. It affects everyone,” said Mion-Pestano.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Kills Another 290 Floridians
Even with this week’s recommendations, Dr. DeFillipo says women with a family history of cancer, or those with dense breasts, should get regular screenings even before age 40.