A spokesman for the Iowa chapter of the American Cancer Society says the organization does not agree with recommendations on mammograms released today by a government task force. Those recommendations say women don’t have to start getting mammograms in their 40’s and can wait until their 50’s to get the exams, and then only need them every two years.

A.C.S. spokesman Chuck Reed says they won’t change their guidelines. Reed says the American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual mammography screening for women beginning at age 40. “We are not changing what we believe in,” Reed says. He says they made their determination based on all the same data reviewed by United States Preventative Services Task Force and also additional data the task force did not consider.

Reed says they will continue to hold fast to their current guidelines that call for women to get annual mammograms when they hit age 40. Reed says if women have a family history or breast cancer, or don’t feel something is right, then they should talk to their doctor immediately. The task force says breast self-exams do no good and women shouldn’t be taught to do them.

Reed says the American Cancer Society doesn’t push for the self exams. Reed says they don’t recommend self exams, but he does say that many women have told them that their husbands have found lumps. “And so I’m not totally against it, we don’t put everything we have into it…mammography is really what we base all our guidelines on because that’s the gold standard of screenings,” Reed says.

Reed says they have had a lot of questions since the task force report came out. Reed says it has been a “hot topic issue” as he says breast cancer hits one in eight women, so it impacts a lot of people. Reed says you can find out more about breast cancer guidelines and other cancer information on their website  here: www.cancer.org.