The U.S. Preventative Screening Task
Force announces new Guidelines regarding who should have a mammogram and when.
Summary of New Guidelines
- Women in their 40s do not need to do screening
- Women from age 50-75 should have a mammogram once every
- It is not known whether women over age 75 benefit from
Why They Changed the Guidelines
- There was concern that women were needlessly subjected
to the anxiety and distress over an abnormal mammogram result
- There was concern that women were undergoing
unneccessary biopsies for lumps that were benign
- Women in their 40s are at risk of breast cancer, but
their risk is lower than older women. Many breast cancer survivors were
outraged at the new guidelines.
- The new guidelines conflict with the current guidelines
published by the American Cancer Society and the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACS and ACOG guidelines still call
for women to start mammograms every 1-2 years at age 40, and annually
starting from age 50.
The Good News
Currently, no insurers in Hawaii
have announced any plans to change their coverage for mammograms. If you
have any questions about how often you should have a mammogram, please discuss
it with your doctor.