MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the first time in 12 years, the American Cancer Society has updated its guidelines for when women should get mammograms.READ MORE: Mother Named Person Of Interest After Police ID Bodies Of Two Girls Found In Lauderhill Canal
Shari Forrest had her first mammogram at the age of 35 after she felt a lump in her breast. Luckily it was a false alarm.
The American Cancer Society is now recommending women at average risk have yearly mammograms starting at age 45, not 40. Study author Doctor Kevin Oeffinger says the benefits far outweigh the harm starting at 45.
“Between 40 and 44 breast cancer is less common. There’s still the risk for a false positive, so we thought that needs to be an informed, shared decision between the woman and her health care provider,” said Oeffinger.
Starting at 55, the American Cancer Society recommends screenings every two years. That’s closer to the U-S Preventive Task force guidelines which recommends mammograms every two years starting at age 50.READ MORE: 77-Year-Old Rafael Diaz Found Safe
Some doctors say the guidelines are confusing and only take into account breast cancer deaths and not quality of life for survivors. They maintain all women should start yearly mammograms at age 40.
“We know that women who develop breast cancer in their 40s develop a very aggressive breast cancer and it spreads rapidly,” said Dr. Kristin Byrne.
Forrest said she had a few false positives in her early mammograms.
“It’s scary when youre waiting to find out the results,” said Forrest.MORE NEWS: Pembroke Pines Teen Sanura Domond Found Safe
But, she added, she’d rather have the screenings than cancer.