The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force announced Nov. 16, 2009, that it now recommends against annual mammograms for women 40 to 49 because the potential harms of routine screening in this age group outweigh the benefits. These downsides include radiation exposure, cost and the trauma of false positives. Many doctors agree with the new guidelines.
But some breast cancer survivors back the screenings. ABC News asked BreastCancer.org
and Breast Cancer Network of Strength
for stories from women who believe that mammograms they received before age 50 saved their lives. Here are the experiences of a few of the women who shared their stories with us.
(Courtesy Stephanie Scott/Jaclyn Fisher/Joann Long/Susan Lorenz)