PORTLAND -- A new study suggested women should start getting mammograms sooner than later.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that getting mammograms before age 50 could dramatically decrease deaths from breast cancer.

In 2009, the United States Preventive Service Task Force suggested women wait until age 50 to get their first mammogram a recommendation that stirred up a lot of controversy.

Several groups including the American Cancer Society and Legacy Medical Group, continued to recommend mammograms starting at age 40.

Harvard researchers found the majority of women they studied who died of breast cancer, didn't get regular mammograms and half of those who died were under age 50.

The research suggested all women get mammograms at an earlier age. Legacy Mt. Hood Radiologist, Dr. Terri Reichner, agreed.

We recommend starting screening at age 40, then every year after, said Reichner. Women should get mammograms sooner than that, if you they have high risk factors, such as family history and genetic mutation.

All Legacy hospitals now have 3D mammogram technology that helps detect cancer earlier and more accurately.

As always, check with your physician to find out what's best for you.

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