ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A local breast cancer surgeon says women have a right to be confused over when they should get that first mammogram because there is no consensus among the experts.

The US Preventive Services Task Force says mammograms should start at age 50 and then be done every other year. The American Cancer Society says begin at age 45 then every year for a decade then change to every other year. OB GYNs say start at age 40.

SLU Care breast cancer surgeon Dr. Theresa Schwartz at SSM Health SLU Hospital says she joins with many other doctors in saying routine mammogram screening should start at age 40 and continue annually for as long as the woman is healthy.

“Right now since the guidelines aren’t in line with one another, that safest move if you’re not sure what to order would be to start at age 40 with screening mammograms,” she says.

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