Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don’t know about us may surprise you. Discover all the ‘Real Possibilities’

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Games Tournament

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities
Car buying made easy with the AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Experts Debate the Risks and Benefits of Cancer Screenings

New recommendations address the frequency of breast and prostate cancer testing

En español | For years the dominant view among patients and doctors about screening for breast and prostate cancer could be expressed in an equation: early detection + aggressive treatment = increased longevity.

Sign up for AARP's Health Newsletter.

But recent widely publicized developments have challenged that notion, which has been an article of faith in American medicine.

mammogram xrays

Mammography screening should begin at age 50, instead of 40, say new recommendations. — Photo by Ben Edwards/Getty Images

The mammography recommendations published in November by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, federally appointed panel of experts, set off a storm of protests by some breast cancer activists and physician groups. Nearly all of the negative reaction has focused on the panel’s recommendation that women without risk factors undergo screening mammography beginning at age 50 instead of 40. The risks of mammograms before 50, the panel concluded, echoing the findings of previous groups as well as large new studies, outweigh the benefits of early detection.

The task force also recommended that women ages 50 to 74 without symptoms or risk factors such as a family history of breast cancer undergo mammography every other year rather than annually. It also advised doctors to stop teaching patients to perform breast self-exams, because there is no evidence they are effective.

Health reform critics immediately called the recommendations "rationing," which prompted federal officials to declare that screening guidelines for government health programs would remain unchanged.

Still, evidence that fewer screenings are needed is mounting.

Next: The case for fewer screenings. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% off eye exams and 30% off eyeglasses at Pearle Vision.

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.