American Cancer Society says start mammograms at 45, not 40

Cropped Photo: Courtesy: National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

CHICAGO (AP) — The American Cancer Society is revising its advice on when women should start getting mammograms and how often.

The updated guidelines recommend annual breast cancer screenings at age 45 instead of 40 and switching to every other year at age 55.

The update moves the society closer to guidelines from an influential task force that recommends starting routine screening at age 50.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Both groups say women’s preferences for when to be scanned should be considered.

The advice is for women at average risk of breast cancer. Doctors generally recommend more intensive screening for higher-risk women.

The update also drops a recommendation for routine physical breast exams by doctors.

The guidelines were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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