New Mammogram Guidelines

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

There are new guidelines out suggesting women do not need to get annual mammograms until they turn 50.

Until now, women were told to get a mammogram every year starting on their 40th birthday.

For these health care professionals, the new guidelines by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are not just work related, they're personal.

That's because these health care officials are also breast cancer survivors, diagnosed before the age of 50.

"I don't agree because I know doing my mammogram and getting regular checkups saved my life," said Jerri Campbell.

"If I had waited till I was 50 ... It would have been throughout my body and in a late stage. I would not have survived," said Rita Miracle.

Rita Miracle is a health educator for the Knox County Health Department.
She says the new guidelines will most likely trickle down to public health departments.

However, she will keep telling folks to start getting their mammogram after the age of 40, not 50, along with self breast exams.

"I'm afraid this will take us back 20-30 years ago. We have had higher mortality rate among young women and we have seen so many more survivors under 50 because they got screened early," said Miracle.

Miracle also fears insurance companies will take advantage of the new recommendations.

"My biggest concern is insurance companies will latch on to this report and stop paying for important screening tests that save women's lives," said Miracle.

For these health care workers, it's all about saving lives, including their own.

Folks we talked to with the American Cancer Society say they do not agree with these new guidelines.

They are still recommending people get mammograms starting at the age of 40.

If you would like to read the study along with a response from ACS officials, just go to Ashley's Extras.


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