Your Health Matters


Bakersfield oncologist explains updated mammogram guidelines

"We save 2% more lives, we detect more breast cancer, by doing that."
Adventist Health’s Dr. Nicole Gordon
Posted at 6:44 AM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 11:12:04-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force changed its guidelines for mammograms, now urging women to get mammograms every other year starting at age 40.

It used to be ages 45 to 50. The recommendation is based on new evidence reviewed by an independent panel of experts.

23ABC spoke with Adventist Health’s Dr. Nicole Gordon. She’s a breast surgical oncologist in Bakersfield.

"We save 2% more lives, we detect more breast cancer, by doing that," she said. "Unfortunately, the age of onset and diagnosis of breast cancer has actually dropped and it's not just for breast cancer. It's all malignancies, all cancers across the board.”

According to the CDC, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

Dr. Gordon said none of this should scare you though. She said breast cancer is one of the most studied and treated cancers, so getting screened earlier means you’re taking extra good care of your health.

In fact, she encourages women to get evaluated at an even younger age.

“We really support initiating a breast evaluation at the age of 25," she said. "Believe it or not, that's actually the earliest age we endorse screening in certain patient populations."

Dr. Gordon said you can start the evaluation and screening process by talking with your primary care physician.

If you want to learn more, she recommends checking out the American Cancer Society or Susan G. Komen Foundation.