Study Creating Controversy About First Breast Cancer Screening

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– A new study published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine suggests women in their 40s with extremely dense breasts or a mother or sister with breast cancer have an increased risk of getting the disease and should be screened every other year.

However Dr. Kimberly Wiele, a breast imaging specialist at Barnes Jewish Hospital says risk-based screening recommendations are not a good strategy, “If we limit screenings for women in their 40s only to those women considered to be high risk, we’re going to miss a lot of breast cancer.”

Wiele says the majority of women who get breast cancer in their 40s do not have the risk factors identified in the study. “The bottom line is, women should begin screening for breast cancer at age 40. We believe they should have their mammogram done every year, not every other year.”

Becky Wyant, 54, gets a mammogram every year because of her family history, “I believe in preventative medicine. My sister has breast cancer or had it. She’s now cancer free and my mother died of breast cancer.”

The American Cancer Society released a statement after learning about the latest research, underscoring it’s recommending that all women 40 and older should get a mammogram every year.