Annual Mammograms for Women Over 40 May Be Advised

The board of the American Cancer Society will vote during its March 17-22 meeting on whether or not to recommend that women over 40 have annual mammograms. Though scientists are in agreement that annual mammograms for women over the age of 50 significantly cut the number of deaths from breast cancer, the ACS’s current recommendations for women 40-49 are to have mammograms every year or two. A panel of 50 experts convening last weekend in Chicago has advised that more lives could be saved if women in their 40s had annual mammograms, and a spokeswoman for the society said it will likely approve the recommendation. In January, a panel commissioned by the National Cancer Institute failed to reach a recommendation and declared that women in the 40s should decide for themselves whether or not to have annual mammograms. Marilyn Leitch of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, a panel member of the Chicago group, said, “The current average two-year interval between screens may be too long for this age group and their faster-growing cancers.”


The Nando Net and the Associated Press - March 10, 1997; Reuters - March 11, 1997

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