A special panel convened by the National Institutes of Health concluded on January 23rd to leave the decision of whether or not women in their forties should receive mammograms to the women themselves. The panel decided that it could not recommend that women in their forties should definitely or should definitely not have mammograms. Some specialists argue that the mammograms can provide early detection crucial to saving women with breast cancer. Others argue that the benefits are outweighed by false positives which lead to unnecessary treatments and surgery.
The panel did agree that women over fifty should have regular mammograms and that women under thirty should not have them.