MAM­MO­GRAMS ARE BEST IF STARTED AT 50, TASK FORCE SAYS

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

wash­ing­ton» Mam­mo­grams do the most good later in life, a govern­ment task force said Mon­day.

The lat­est guide­lines from the U.S. Preven­tive Ser­vices Task Force stick with its ad­vice that women should have one ev­ery two years from ages 50 to 74.

The task force also makes clear that it’s an op­tion for younger women even though they’re less likely to ben­e­fit.

The ad­vi­sory group wants younger women to un­der­stand the trade-offs be­fore de­cid­ing: Among ev­ery 1,000 women screened, one ad­di­tional death could be pre­vented by start­ing mam­mo­grams at 40 in­stead of 50. There would be 576 more false alarms and 58 ad­di­tional un­needed biop­sies. Also, two ex­tra women would be over­diag­nosed, treated for can­cer that never would have be­come life-threat­en­ing.

The up­date Mon­day, pub­lished in An­nals of In­ter­nal Medicine, is largely a re­word­ing of guide­lines orig­i­nally is­sued in 2009 and re­con­sid­ered in draft form last spring. This time, the task force stresses that “we think the sci­ence sup­ports a range of op­tions” for 40-some­things, said task force past chair­man Dr. Michael Le­Fevre of the Univer­sity of Mis­souri. The As­so­ci­ated Press

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