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Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Controversy

For decades there has been considerable controversy over screening guidelines for breast cancer. The charts below from the CDC depict the different recommendations for screening mammograms from esteemed national organizations. Screening mammograms are different than diagnostic mammograms. A screening mammogram is performed when there are no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram is performed when there are signs or symptoms of breast cancer present.

As you can see the controversy lies in when to begin screening - Age 40? Age 45? Age 50? The American Society of Breast Surgeons recently updated their guidelines suggesting even earlier if you are at high risk.

We discovered a great tool below from the non-profit, Bright Pink, to help you assess your risk and make an informed decision on when it is right for you to begin having screening mammograms performed.

In addition, to the mammography screening timeline you choose is right for you, we hope you will "Don't be a Chump! Check for a Lump!" regularly. 70% of all women find breast cancer by feeling a lump (palpable mass) or discovering other signs/symptoms in their breasts on their own. Look for ANY changes in your breasts including lumps, pain, redness, dimpling of the skin, discharge from the nipple, check your armpits too as this is the first place breast cancer travels to. ANY changes in your breasts should be followed up by a doctor.

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