Get Your Breast Screening at 40, Not 50 Say New Guidelines
New guidelines recommend that women get screened for breast cancer every other year starting at age 40 instead of 50. The new guidelines come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts. They are a result of new evidence that the rate of breast cancer among women ages 40 to 49 increased an average of 2% per year, from 2015 to 2019, according to the National Cancer Institute. The task force estimates that these changes could prevent at least one additional breast cancer death for every 1,000 women.
The recommendation does not apply to women with a history of breast cancer, those who've had an abnormal biopsy, or those with a genetic marker for breast cancer. The women in this category may need to be screened more frequently. Women at higher risk need to be screened more regularly. But the American Cancer Society and many other medical groups say these guidelines don’t go far enough. They recommend ANNUAL screenings and mammograms starting at 40.
The U.S. Task Force advises women to talk to their doctor at age 25 to determine if they need to be screened earlier. It also recommended that women with dense breasts, a breast cancer diagnosis before age 50, or a personal history of breast cancer get an MRI each year. Bottom line, ladies, talk with your doctor about your particular situation, and if you are behind on getting your mammogram, make that appointment today. Early detection is critical to a successful outcome.