Nancy writes: "At what age can women stop having mammograms?"
Mammograms have gotten plenty of news over the last couple of years. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, USPSTF, which only makes recommendations, but not policy, came out with a statement in 2009 that many interpreted to mean they were recommending most women wait until 50 to begin routine mammograms. They also said they didn't have enough information to make any policies about women 75 or older. Since then other expert groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society, have all come out with statements supporting starting routine mammograms at age 40. Although no specific upper age is given for when it's advisable to stop having mammograms, the American Cancer Society says they should continue "for as long as a woman is in good health."
Nancy from Colorado Springs: "I would like to know how much soy I should take to lower my risk of breast cancer."
This is still a controversial topic, especially when it comes to breast cancer survivors. The confusing part is that soy contains chemicals that mimic estrogen and some breast cancers are sensitive to this hormone. On the other hand, studies, especially involving Asian women, seem to show that soy offers some protection from breast cancer. To date, experts tend to feel that soy gotten from your diet, as opposed to supplements, should be alright to take. But, the best recommendation is to talk with your own doctor, since your medical, family and genetic history could put you at a greater risk of breast cancer by taking soy, but then again, it might not.