Shifting Guidelines on Mammograms Leaves a Lot of Women Wondering When to Get a Mammogram

American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for the first time in more than a decade.
2:41 | 10/20/15

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Transcript for Shifting Guidelines on Mammograms Leaves a Lot of Women Wondering When to Get a Mammogram
We turn this evening to the major medical headline at this hour on mammograms we have reported on this before the shifting guidelines. But tonight the American Cancer Society is now weighing in changing their recommendations for the first time in more than a decade. Mammograms starting later at the age of 45 and no longer recommending clinical breast exams and which doctors or nurses feel for lumps. There are many questions tonight doctor John Ashton with the bottom line for women watching right here a moment but first Lindsay Janice with those new guidelines. Tonight the American Cancer Society now saying women should start having mammograms at the age of 45. Five years later than its previous recommendation of forty. So women between the ages of 45 and fifty fool or who have an average risk of developing breast cancer should have a mammogram once. But after 55 a mammogram every other year as long as the patient is healthy. Kimberly yeah. And I am answering honestly no if any guidelines and acting that's wrong and and I hope that the insurance companies are still can't pay for it might happen more openness. The new guidelines based on increasing evidence that demography often produces false positives in younger women. Results that lead to additional testing and surgery often unnecessary. But at least one other influential group still recommend starting at forty and another says mammograms aren't necessary until fifty the American Cancer Society also dropping its previous recommendation that women have a manual exam so doctors can feel for abnormalities because it's never been shown to save lives. Lindsay Janice ABC news. New York Howard Lindsay thank you let's get right to doctor Jim Aston and OB GY and herself a lot of confusion in these new guidelines amount that you point out. If they're constantly looking at the numbers the statistics and these guidelines are are actually good thing when they come out to revise. Absolutely because we're always learning we're always setting but they crunch numbers they evaluate the data. And the reason for the delay back to from forty to 45 is because they found that in women forty to 44. A screening mammogram in terms of saving lives. May in fact. Do more harm than good in some women so this is frustrating. And you need to speak to your doctor about your plans. If you're forty you're 35 you have concerns bring them up with you're dot absolutely in the meantime we heard about that clinical exam where a doctor or nurse checks for lumps there were many women in the newsroom today were scratching their heads saying. This is a major change. Right because in the world of evidence based medicine no proof that a clinician breast exam saves lives. As part of the human body though as a medical doctor I will continue to included in an overall physical and do you think many your colleagues will. Until March and has tremendous tonight and thank you.

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

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