Health experts are divided over when women should start getting - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Health experts are divided over when women should start getting regular mammograms

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

For years, people have debated whether it's necessary for women to get their annual mammograms beginning at age 40.

A report released Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association questions the number of false positives associated with mammograms.  After looking at 50 years worth of data, researchers concluded the benefits of mammography are overstated because roughly half of women receive false positives.

However, not everyone agrees the test is overrated.  Dr. Donna Plecha the director of breast imaging and mammography at University Hospitals Case Medical Center says the study weighed old technologies, such as films, and new technologies, such as digital mammography, equally.

"Recent studies have shown that the digital mammograms have less false negatives, less calls backs and less unnecessary biopsies," said Dr. Plecha.

While Dr. Plecha acknowledges the exam isn't perfect, she says it does save lives and it's the best thing available for mass screenings for breast cancer.

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