By Dr. Brian McDonough
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Just when should a woman get a mammogram?
When is it most effective?
Well, according to a United States Preventive Services Task Force, they believe you should limit screening to women 55 to 74 years of age.
Their argument is mammograms of younger women lead to false positives, and that leads to unneeded interventions and unnecessary costs.
Now, the American Cancer Society has said that women 40 to 49 should be getting the screening test, and they disagree with the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
Well, now, a new report is going to open that argument again.
New research suggests that women who don’t get mammograms, even younger women are a sizable proportion of breast cancer deaths.
A Harvard study found that 71 percent of women who had breast cancer never had a mammogram prior to diagnosis, and half of the deaths were in women younger than 50.
There’s definitely an argument in favor of having the mammograms earlier.