I’m Dr. Alexander Salerno. Did you know that breast cancer, after skin cancer, is the second leading cancer in American women today? Regular check-ups and screenings play a major role in early detection and treatment. But recent, new, conflicting guidelines from various national organizations has led to confusion for many women. So, let’s break it down.

Until recently, the standard guideline for a mammogram was age 40 for most women. Now, the American Cancer Society has changed our recommendations to 45 and older. The American College of OB-GYN still recommend starting at the age of 40. While the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends waiting until the age of 50. The three groups also differ on how often a mammogram should be performed.

The American Cancer Society suggests screenings between the ages of 45 and 54, annually, and then every two years thereafter. The American College of OB-GYN recommends annual checkups and the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends every two years.

So which choice is right for you? Well, this is an important conversation you need to have with your doctor. Whether you go early, whether you go later, it’s going to be based on your own personal background, family history and the facts.

So more than ever it’s important to you ask questions, get answers and remember knowledge is power.