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Sanford expert says new mammogram guidelines could help save lives.

This week, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force brought their recommended age for screenings down to 40.

Roger Maris Cancer Center.jpg
Sanford Health's Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo.
Jay Dahl / WDAY News

FARGO — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is changing their guidelines for mammogram screenings.

The new recommendation is for all women to get screened every other year starting at the age of 40 until they're 75.

The previous guidelines recommended the testing being at 50, but suggested considering it at 40 depending on personal risk.

Dr. Anu Gaba, a Medical Oncologist with Sanford Health at the Roger Maris Cancer Center, says the new recommendation makes it more likely for insurance to cover testing.

"It does make a big difference. Otherwise sometimes women have to pay out of pocket, or the institute gets a grant to cover mammograms, so this does make it easier for women to get mammograms," said Dr. Gaba.


She also says the new recommendation could help address racial disparities in cancer testing.

"African American women often have higher stages of cancer and we diagnose them at an age less than other races, so this will help them significantly," said Dr. Gaba.

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