American Cancer Society Raises Age Recommendation for Mammograms

One in eight million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. With early detections and treatment, most will continue with a normal life.
Now that the American Cancer Society has raised the age recommendation to get a mammogram, one cancer survivor is a little skeptical.
“It was on this actual day at 3:15 p.m. that I was diagnosed. ‘Mrs. Niceley, you have breast cancer.” Those were the dreaded words JoAn Niceley heard her doctor say but that day was 13 years ago. Today, she celebrates another year of being cancer free. “I’m feeling extra good today, especially well, whatever you want to say. I never actually thought I’d see that 13 year mark.”
Niceley had no history of breast cancer in her family and she had only learned she had cancer after one of her routine checkups when she was 43-years-old, an age the American Cancer Society is now saying is too early for screening. Mammograms are now being recommended for woman to start at 45-years-old, instead of 40. “I’m actually against it because I am also a wig fitter for Pink Heart Funds,” said Niceley, “And I see so many young women that come in that are in their 30’s, 35-years-old that have breast cancer and it was not in their family history. Had they not gone for a mammogram, they would not have known.”
So what do our local doctors and nurses have to say about it? Singing River Health System Nurse Star Higginbotham said, “It really depends on your family history. Your physician would be best to talk to about that as far as how often and when to start.”
According to the American Cancer Society, the age has been moved up because research proves it takes several mammograms to save even one life and many times tumors grow more slowly after menopause. But for JoAn Niceley, waiting until age 45 could have been too late.
If you are confused as to when you should start mammogram screenings, doctors and nurses say to talk to your local physician.

Categories: Local News, News

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