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American Cancer Society Updates Breast Cancer Screening Guideline

Yongjiet, flickr Creative Commons

The new guideline released by the American Cancer Society is the first update since 2003.

Communications Manager Brian Ortner, says the guideline is based on the latest science.

He says evidence clearly supports starting annual screenings at age 45, but it’s a balance.

Ortner says there’s some risk of harm associated with early screenings like biopsies for false-positive imaging tests or possible overdiagnosis.

He says women should make the decision after checking with their health care provider.

"That really falls down to a personal choice of the individual," Ortner says. "Does the risk outweigh the benefit? There’s discussions on both sides for that."

The guideline, published in the Journal of American Medical Association also recommends having mammograms every other year beginning at 55.