The American Cancer Society unveiled a new set of mammogram guidelines yesterday that has left many women scratching their heads.
According to the New York Times, the organization is now telling women of average risk that they should receive annual mammograms from the age of 45 to 54, then receive one every other year assuming that they are in good health. Additionally, doctors could eliminate routing examinations where professionals feel for lumps in the breasts.
The new, more lax guidelines are a shift from the previous guidelines, which recommended that women begin receiving annual screenings at the age of 40.
So, why the change? Researchers say that oftentimes, the tests can produce false positives, which can result in unnecessary and invasive treatment options such as biopsies and radiation.
However, the new guidelines are simply a suggestion. Women can still opt for annual exams beginning at the age of 40.