New Recommendations Issued on Mammogram Screenings

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says mammograms should be done every other year for women ages 50 to 74.
2:32 | 01/12/16

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Transcript for New Recommendations Issued on Mammogram Screenings
well, because there is a big headline about mammogram recommendat recommendations. New advice from a major group of experts that could affect when women in their 40s begin getting screened. We have Dr. Jen Ashton here to explain. So, what is different today? So, robin, we're seeing the final guideline, this is just by one group. Trust me there are other groups and they will be weighing in again but the big change here from the U.S. Preventive service task force is really a softening up for recommendations in their 40s. What they're saying for women with average risks start screening at 50. Screen every other year and screening really isn't recommended for most women over the age of 74. This is exactly what they said in 2009. The difference here is more woman's choice in the 40 to 49-year-old age group and shared decision-making between that woman and her health care provider or doctor. Every woman has to make the decision best for her. Men are diagnosed with breast cancer, as well. Absolutely. Can you understand the frustration that why can't the experts be in agreement? Absolutely. And I share that frustrate as a woman and as a physician but this is a very complex issue because there are a lot of specialists that Teed to weigh in here. And there are not just medical and scientific issues but there are ethical and social and political and economic issues and the goal here is trying to find that sweet spot, robin, between risk and benefit and not just in saving lives but in improving women's quality of life, as well. How about health insurance coverage and the mammogram -- this new guideline? Will this complicate things? I think so. Only time will tell. I will tell you ironically women who have insurance because I have patients with insurance and without insurance often have less choice in making decisions about whether or not something will be covered. The one issue here is that congress did pass a bill with a rider that extends coverage through the year 2017. What happens after that we'll have to wait and see. Give us your bottom line. I'm a board certified ob/gyn and follow the recommendations start at 40 but what I worry about this term average risk because we know the majority of breast cancer is diagnosed in women who were average until they get that phone call. So while it's important to crunch Numbers and analyze statistics, there are actual women's lives that I am responsible for and that will always come first for me. I know it will, Jen. Thank you so much. You know, once again people will pepper you with questions and you'll be on Twitter and take your questions throughout the morning, you can tweet her @ death penalty rjashton or go to "Gma's" Facebook page.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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