The new recommendations from the American Cancer Society regarding breast cancer screenings for women seem right to an expert with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.
Doctor Robert Mocharnuk (MOO-char-nuk) at the Simmons Cancer Institute says he sees nothing wrong with women getting annual mammograms from 45 to 54, then every other year after that up until 10 years prior to the end of life expectancy, and understands why that change was made.
"I think the way they looked at it here, is that 54 sort of demarcates menopause for women, and that the risks for breast cancer are different for pre-menupausal versus post-menopausal women," says Mocharnuk. "That's why you get the age 45 to 54...women are usually still pre-menopausal, and that's when their risks are somewhat higher."
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Mocharnuk says moving the recommended minimum age up to 45 should reduce the number of "false positive" tests there are among women.
"Younger women have dense breasts," says Mocharnuk. "These dense breasts are difficult to read on studies, so they end up getting needless biopsies -- the worry that they go through before and after the biopsies, waiting for the results. This is a way in which to try and reduce some of that trauma and needless intervention."
Mocharnuk says if you're younger, and you feel you're at greater risk of breast cancer, by all means get tested.