Dr. Jerome Gehl on New Mammogram Guidelines


The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently released new mammogram guidelines suggesting that mammograms should begin at 45 and be performed with less frequency for most women.

Jerome Gehl, M.D. at the CHI St. Vincent Breast Center, provides the following information to help women decide what is best for them.

“Maximum benefit in terms of diagnosing breast cancer when it is earlier and more treatable is with annual mammograms beginning at age 40. I think the “risks” and “harms” of mammography are being oversold by those who want to decrease the amount of funding that goes to mammography. However, I think mammography is one of the big success stories in medicine in the last 30 years. Thirty-five percent reduction in the risk of dying from breast cancer is huge.

There will be additional studies in the next few months that will give more insight into the positive and negative aspects of these new ACS guidelines. And I am open-minded about and looking forward to those additional insights.

It is unfortunate to have confusion of different guidelines.  That creates the situation where women and doctors need to use their best judgement. But I think the perspective of the statement of the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging says it well: “starting annual mammography at age 40 saves the most lives.” Starting later and doing them less frequently will decrease the effectiveness of screening. The ACS guidelines still allow for annual screening beginning at age 40.”

Dr. Gehl is raising awareness Breast Cancer Research. Learn more about #RealMenWearPink and support his efforts.