The controversy is brewing over an announcement last month from a National Cancer Institute advisory panel. That group decided there's no proof mammograms reduce breast cancer deaths.
Since then, a lot of women have been calling their doctors to say: what's the use of getting a mammogram? On Thursday, this announcement from the Department of Health and Human Services: the studies that put some doubt in the credibility of the mammogram are too flawed to be helpful. So far, it is still the best test we have in finding breast cancer early.
"When it comes to mammography, the federal government's recommendation remains very clear. Women in their 40's should be screened every one to two years with mammography," says Tommy Thompson, Department of Health and Human Services.
The same recommendation stands with the American Cancer Society. Oddly enough, the National Cancer Institute, the same organization that raised some doubt last month, all agree that if the mammogram reveals breast cancer in its earliest stages, that's important because it opens up more options in treatment.