Doctors are now urging women to get mammograms every year beginning at age 40, not at age 50 as previously recommended.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated its breast screening guidelines July 20 due to increasing incidences of rapidly progressing breast cancers occurring among younger women and in their efforts to prevent breast cancer deaths.

“If women in their 40s have annual mammograms, there is a better chance of detecting and treating the cancer before it has time to spread than if they wait two years between mammograms,” says Dr. Jennifer Griffin, who co-authored the guidelines.

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