Breast Clinical Exams Still Reccomended Yearly

Women hear so much about mammography that it over shadows the fact that women are to see their gyno, or their health care provider, every year for a clinical breast exam. Yearly breast exams should begin at age 19. Not only that, but then you can have consultation regarding symptoms and risk categories and make an informed decision as to when the best time to start mammograms for you will be. The news once again has broken with a new guideline for mammography, with the American Cancer Society proclaiming women should get yearly mammography from 45 to 54, lots of opinions abound, here's one from USA today. And here's an article that focuses on both benefits and potential harms of mammographic screening fro the Washington Post. A few years ago first mammograms were suggested at age 35, then it raised to 40 and now to 45 by this group. But the gynecologists have not recommended this to their patients. They have now published in JAMA: “ACOG maintains its current advice that women starting at age 40 continue mammography screening every one to two years and recommends a clinical breast exam. ACOG recommendations differ from the American Cancer Society’s because of different interpretation of data and the weight assigned to the harms versus the benefits." Actually we may see guidelines shift after the first of the year when major groups will get together and discuss their opinions on when to do mammograms and if the guidelines should change.
From their website ACOG’s current recommendations?

  • Screening mammography every 1-2 years for women aged 40-49 years
  • Screening mammography every year for women aged 50 years or older
  • Breast Self-Awareness has the potential to detect palpable breast cancer and can be recommended
  • Clinical Breast Exam every year for women aged 19 or older

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