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Hadassah says mammograms should start at 40

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hadassah said women should continue to have regular mammograms beginning at age 40, contrary to new federal guidelines.

The statement rejects the controversial recommendation made last week by a federal panel that most women do not need to start such examinations until age 50.

In a news release, Hadassah said it will be joining with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in working together to fight breast cancer in the United States and Israel, while also reaffirming that women should conduct regular breast self-exams, annual clinical exams and annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

The advice goes against the findings of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts that announced last week that women 40 to 49 do not need to have annual mammograms. The Obama administration has criticized the recommendation.

Ashkenazi Jewish women are five times more likely to have the abnormal breast cancer gene BRCA1, which accounts for 10 percent of all breast cancer cases.

Hadassah and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure have been working together on cancer education and awareness events, with the breast cancer group giving grants totaling $335,000 to Hadassah chapters for cancer awareness education and events.  

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