WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published March 31, 2010, 10:09 PM

Altru Supports Mammograms At Age 40

Altru is has seen a more than three percent decline in Mammogram screenings.

Altru is has seen a more than three percent decline in Mammogram screenings.They believe that comes from a recommendation by the U-S Preventive Services Task Force that women start receiving mammograms at the age of 50 instead of 40.

One in eight women get breast cancer and Altru says they are going to continue to follow the guidelines set by the American Cancer Society and recommend their patients start receiving mammograms at the age of 40.

Altru Health System is urging women to still receive mammograms at the age of 40 because of the benefits of early detection, but women around the area have mixed views about when to start.

Lori Helle/Waiting Till 50:"Say for me personally I would probably wait because I do the self exam and stuff like that and I never had any problems or anything. "

Cindy Sprague/Started Around 20: "I have been doing mine for thirty years and I am 50 so I think the sooner the better."

Even though the machine looks intimidating and scary the actual procedure takes about 10 minutes. So those of you living a fast life style the procedure is actually quite quick.

Michelle Cooley/ALTRU NURSE PRACTITIONER: "Diagnosing breast cancer earlier and hopefully at an earlier stage will hopefully have a less painful miserable treatment also a better recovery."

The Mammogram machine takes two images of each breast one from the top and another from a 45 degree angle. Cooley says women need to be sure that they know their families medical history...which could help to determine when to start receiving mammograms as well. Along with early detection you have to weigh the pros and cons.

Michelle Cooley/ALTRU NURSE PRACTITIONER: "With mammograms there is a small part of radiation so you want to monitor the risk and benefits of having that mammogram."

For those who don't have insurance or need assistance in paying for mammogram. Altru does have assistance available along with state funded programs like the Women's Way for North Dakota and the Sage Program in Minnesota.