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Group: Offer women mammograms from age 40

Doctors should offer all women in their 40s the chance to get annual screenings for breast cancer, according to new guidelines from an organization of women's health professionals.

The recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will add to the debate over when screening should start, and how often it should be done, based on the chances of catching an early cancer and the risks inherent in any screening.

"We believe that many women will choose to have a screening mammogram every year, [and] of course there are women that will choose not to," said Dr. Jennifer Griffin of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, one of the authors of the new guidelines.

Other organizations recommend that breast scans begin at age 40. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a federally supported expert panel, said in 2009 that in screening before 50 the benefit is very small compared with the risks. -- Reuters