For forty-somethings: 120,000 doctors want you to stop and think about your next mammogram.
As reported last week in the Washington Post, the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical specialty group in the country representing 120,000 internists, issued new guidelines urging women in their 40’s to consult with their doctors about whether or not to have mammograms.
The ACP believes the risks of mammograms including exposure to radiation, a known breast carcinogen, unnecessary biopsies, surgery and chemotherapy – may outweigh the benefits.
"All we're saying is that women should be informed about the risks and benefits so they can make a decision based on all the facts," said Douglas K. Owens of Stanford University, who chaired the committee that wrote the guidelines.
This flies in the face of the recommendations from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Both recommend mammograms starting at age 40.
BCF was thrilled to see the ACP encouraging women to take an active role in deciding if, when and how often they should schedule their mammograms.
Read the Breast Cancer Fund’s mammography position statement to get more info on radiation, risks, etc.