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E. The Debate Over Mammography

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's some controversy about when women should start having annual mammograms. Epidemiologist Karla Kerlikowske of the University of California, San Francisco says some organizations recommend women start getting regular screenings at age 40, while others say only over age 50.

Kerlikowske: Most countries in the world do not recommend screening mammography for women in their forties and actually, most organizations in the United States don't recommend it except for the American College of Radiology, American Cancer Society and now, recently, one board of the NCI recommends it. There's a lot of controversy and it really just depends on what organization you listen to or what country you live in.

Narrator: But Kerlikowske says their are other factors.

Kerlikowske: If you have a family history of breast cancer or you've had breast cancer, then everyone agrees that those women should get regular mammography, no matter what age they are.

Narrator: Kerlikowske says those not at risk, should weigh their options with their provider. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.