September 23, 2017

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ACS Releases New Mammogram Guidelines

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing MammogramEvery year one in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Early diagnosis can save lives—at any age. That’s why getting a screening mammogram is so important.

“I think a lot of times women are so busy taking care of everyone else that sometimes they forget to take care of themselves, too. But it’s important that women over 40 make time to get their mammograms,” Kari Westby, quality assurance manager of ACMC’s Imaging Services, said.

She adds, “In the ACMC breast imaging department, our lives are touched every day by cancer. We understand that breast cancer is a difficult and frightening journey for women and their loved ones. Annual screening mammography starting at age 40 remains the best way for women to reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.”

The American Cancer Society recently released new screening mammogram guidelines for women who have an average risk of getting breast cancer.

  • Women should undergo regular screening mammography by age 45 with the opportunity to begin annual screening between the ages of 40 and 44 years.
  • Women 45 to 54 years of age should be screened annually.
  • Women 55 years and older may transition to biennial screening, but should have the option of annual screenings if they prefer.

The American Cancer Society recommends women continue getting a mammogram as long as their overall health is good and they have a live expectancy of ten years or more. Women at a higher risk should consult their family medicine physician to determine when to screen for breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society stresses that insurance companies should continue to provide coverage for annual screening mammography for all women age 40 and older.

Despite these new recommendations, the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging continues to recommend that women begin annual screening mammography at the age of 40.

“One of the most reliable methods for radiologists to detect an early breast cancer is by looking for a subtle change on the mammogram. These subtle changes are easier found when a women has a mammogram annually,” Kari said. “The bottom line is that women should feel empowered to talk to their doctors about what screening options are best for them based on their age, risk factors and individual preference.”

At ACMC we offer mammograms at our Willmar, Marshall and Redwood Falls clinics. We’re making things easier by offering walk-in mammograms at our Willmar and Marshall clinics—no appointment needed. Just walk right in Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Learn more here.