New study stirs controversy on mammograms -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

New study stirs controversy on mammograms

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Another study has just been released saying women should start getting mammograms regularly in their forties.

It's been a controversial topic because a few years ago, a U.S. Preventive Task Force Panel said women do not need to start getting mammograms until they are 50.

"I can understand why women are confused because they get conflicting information," said Dr. Arthur Diamond, Breast Imaging Specialist at East Texas Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society, recommends women have mammorgrams yearly starting at age 40.

This new study agrees with that recommendation but according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force study conducted in 2009, they recommend women start getting mammograms every two years at the age of 50.

"Breast cancer doesn't respect a woman's 50th birthday. Breast cancer is going to occur when it occurs and the head start that you have of getting the mammogram at an earlier age gives us ample time to discover it and increase survival," said Dr. Diamond. "That's what it's all about, increasing survival."

There are other reasons why Dr. Diamond suggests early mammograms.

"The important thing is to get that base line and establish what you look like at a certain age and then we have the benefit of comparing subsequent examinations with that baseline examination, and that's very useful," said Dr. Diamond.

Dr. Diamond believes there's an economic incentive as to why this government study suggests fewer mammograms.

"It's expensive to screen millions and millions of women, so if you can suddenly cut the examinations in half, you're going to save billions of dollars," said Dr. Diamond. "I truly believe that the recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is a way for the government to save billions of dollars, but that's not really good for women. That's not good for women's health."

ETMC has two upcoming events for breast cancer survivors and for those who are interested in breast healthcare.

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