New Recommendations for Mammography Screenings
A new recommendation by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests that routine mammograms for women should start at age 50 and that the decision to start regular screening before the age of 50 should be an individual one. The USPSTF is an independent panel of experts which advises the U.S. government on preventive and primary healthcare and is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This recommendation changes their 2002 recommendation to screen from age 40 upwards.
The main reason for raising the age from 40 to 50 comes from their conclusion that the risk reduction from screening is greater for women aged 50 to 59 than for those aged 40 to 49.
In their new Screening for Breast Cancer statement, the USPSTF also recommends:
• No teaching of breast self-examination (BSE).
• There is not enough evidence to assess whether clinical breast examination (CBE) does more harm than good, beyond screening mammography in women 40 years or older.
• Current evidence is not enough to assess whether digital mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would be better or worse than film mammography to diagnose breast cancer.
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