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New mammogram recommendations stir controversy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The debate over when women should get mammograms is back on the table. This is all after the government advisory panel released their newest recommendations for when to schedule a screening.

Starting at age 50, and every two years after, is the new standard given by the panel. The American Cancer Society still advises women start at age 45, and repeat once every year.

Doctors say screenings before age 50 should be an individual decision but could lead to several harms. The advisory panel stresses that false positives, and costly unnecessary treatments can add up causing financial and emotionally stress.

The new recommendations conflict with those of other organizations, which have many worried that the confusion will put more than 22 million women at risk of losing free insurance coverage for mammograms.