New Guidelines on When Women Should Get Mammograms

New research suggests a large number of women who die from breast cancer have never had a mammogram.
1:36 | 09/09/13

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Transcript for New Guidelines on When Women Should Get Mammograms
We have news tonight about mammograms, new research out of harvard. The research says a large number of women who die from breast cancer never had a mammogram, including young women, many under the age of 50. What is the latest tonight about when women should start getting screened. Here's abc's chief medical educator richard besser. Reporter: Desiree walker only got the mammogram because it was free at her job. She was 38, 12 years younger than federal guidelines. Without that mammogram? I wouldn't be here today. Reporter: A new study adds fuel to the fire. How early should women begin mammograms? Half the breast cancer deaths were in women diagnosed before age 50 and most of them never had a mammogram. They say mammograms before 50 could cut breast cancer deaths drastically so why don't national guidelines say start them younger? Statistics. It appears mammograms work in women that are slightly older. Younger women tend to have more aggressive cancers. The faster a cancer gross, the like lick it will be detected. Reporter: Sadly they don't benefit as much from early detection. There is another risk. One problem is having a false positive and having to have other tests. Reporter: Even if you are under 40 you need to listen to your body, into the to guidelines. If you feel a lump or breast discomfort, get checked, get a mammogram. Everyone can agree on that.

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