CHI Health says family history plays a role in mammogram screenings

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The recommended age to begin mammograms has changed from 50 to 40 for women nationwide, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce.

Health organizations have previously struggled with when screenings should begin, but CHI Health of Nebraska hasn’t changed its recommendations.

Mammogram Coordinator Stacey Schnieder says the panel may provide additional clarity, but it “kind of depends on family history.”

The American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology have set the precedent for recommendations for women at risk.

Schnieder says the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce is adjusting for those very reasons.

“They’re finding out over time, and more research, that there’s been an increase in breast cancer,” she said. “They just want women to start sooner.”

CHI Health’s newly opened care center provides resources like automated breast ultrasounds to women in Lincoln.

The equipment specifically helps at-risk patients with denser tissues, an issue proven problematic for traditional mammogram machines.

“It all depends on what stage and to catch it sooner before it goes to a different stage,” Schnieder said.

She reiterated that following up with your primary care provider is best for your care and future.

“Ask questions to your doctor about the family history of breast cancer that you may have, and when they recommend maybe starting,” Schnieder said.

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