BROOKLYN - Medical experts and breast cancer research advocacy groups are stunned over new recommendations stating that women under the age of 50 do not need annual mammograms.

Normally, women over the age of 40 are advised to go for annual breast cancer screenings. A government panel now says only women between 50 and 74 should get mammograms every two years. The panel also says self breast exams are no longer necessary.

Dr. Steven Garner, Head of Radiology at N.Y. Methodist Hospital, still encourages women over 40 to get mammograms every year for early detection.