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What Women Need to Know About Changes in Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

“The new guidelines have caused some confusion and anxiety for women, especially those around 40 years old,” said David Rawson, DO, breast imaging radiologist at McLaren Greater Lansing’s Breast Care Center. “What they had been told for years has suddenly changed, and if they don’t understand what’s changed or why, it could potentially keep them from catching cancer early enough to treat.”

Differences in Risk

Some of the confusion surrounds the ACS’s definition of an “average-risk” woman is, which is essentially women who are not above-average risk. Women with above-average risk are defined by ACS as “women with a personal history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer, a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as BRCA), and women who had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30.”

Additional screening recommendations exist for women at a high risk for developing breast cancer. Because of this uncertainty, Dr. Rawson and the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging stress the importance of early screenings.

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McLaren’s nationally accredited Breast Care Center now offers Mammography in addition to its world-class comprehensive and compassionate cancer care.