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Pledge the Gift of Life

Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


PCNC-TV: West Penn Allegheny Breast Cancer Specialist Discusses New Mammography Report

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Sweeping new U.S. breast cancer screening guidelines are calling for an end to routine mammograms for women in their 40s and for women 50 to 74 they suggest a mammogram every other year. 

At age 40, yearly mammograms become part of a woman's life to look for breast cancer.

Now a government task force says it is okay to wait until you're 50 to get this screening test.

Some women are concerned about waiting an extra decade.

"A lot of the women's health problems start more in their 30s and early 40s," says a woman walking along Penn Avenue in the Strip.

"The sooner you can get tested, the better," says another woman.

"I agree that starting at age 50 is a good age to begin screening. Forty might be too young," says a more mature woman.

The American Cancer Society still recommends screening starting at 40.

"Our job is to make an early diagnosis of breast cancer because we want a small tumor that doesn't spread," says Dr. William Poller of Allegheny General Hospital's Breast Imaging Center. "We've seen early detection means better prognosis, more lives saved."

That's not to say women younger than 50 won't be getting mammograms, but it's something to discuss and plan based on individual risk.

The government task force is made up of primary care doctors and nurses with interests in public health and biomedical information and policy.

In making its recommendations, the panel took into account the lower incidence of breast cancer in younger women and that screening younger women can lead to false alarms and unneeded biopsies.


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