LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – One question at the top of the list for women is when should they get screened for breast cancer, and at what age?
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has changed it’s recommendation that women get scans at age 40 instead of 50.
The sound of celebration, ringing the bell after cancer patients go into remission.
“It’s the worst times but also some of the best times,” breast cancer survivor Jodie Spears said.
After a long battle with breast cancer, that would re-occur four times for Jodie Spears.
“When I was 32 I discovered a lump on my own,” Spears said.
Since 2016, Jodie has been breast cancer free.
Initially, Dr. Stacy Smith-Foley with the CARTI Cancer Center said the recommendation was for women to get screened at age 40, then the recommendation was changed to age 50.
Now it has been altered to go back to 40. Smith-Foley said it is a step in the right direction.
“For the past 7 years women have been confused as to when they should get a mammogram,” and “what we recommend is that women start getting a mammogram at age 40, they have a mammogram each year and there is really not an age at which to stop,” Smith-Foley said.
Spears said if her breast cancer was not detected early, she would not be here today.
“Believe me, as someone who gets scans every six months, yeah there is anxiety every time, but to know when it comes back clear that I don’t have cancer, it is such a celebration,” Spears said.
Spears encourages all women to start now because it could be the thing that saves your life.
“It is survivable if you get to it early and if you do what needs to be done in terms of screening,” stated Spears.
This recommendation is for women at average risk. They do recommend you go earlier if you have a family history or other health factors.