AMA: Women should be eligible for mammograms at 40

June 19, 2012 3:57:27 PM PDT
The American Medical Association has voted to support the eligibility of women starting at age 40 for routine mammogram screenings.

This new AMA policy is pushing back at the controversial recommendation made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. In 2009 that panel said routine mammograms for breast cancer were unnecessary for women younger than 50.

The AMA House of Delegates did not recommend that every woman have a mammogram starting at 40. It stops short of that, but instead says women should "be eligible" at that age.

Psychiatrist Patrice Harris is a on the AMA Board of Trustees. She says the policy also supports insurance coverage of these screening mammograms.

"I think this policy empowers doctors and women, encourages doctors and women to have the conversation, and to have the conversation based on the patient that is in front of you," said Harris.

At the annual meeting in Chicago, the group also took another slap at the federal panel regarding its stand on prostate screening.

The AMA adopted a resolution expressing concern that the task force's recommendations against PSA testing and early mammogram screening could limit access to preventive care for Americans.

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