Mammograms @ 50 Not 40

I came across this latest development from The New York Times.  This certainly will change the medical landscape.  Read on…

The new screening guidelines, issued on Monday, November 16, by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) of the Department of Health and Human Services, recommend against routine screening mammography in women 40 to 49. They would scale back screening for women 50 to 74, to every other year from annually.

The recommendations question the usefulness of mammography for women 75 and older. And they counsel against teaching women to perform breast self-exams and question the usefulness of clinical breast exams

Summary of Recommendations

  1. The USPSTF recommends against routine screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49 years. The decision to start regular, biennial screening mammography before the age of 50 years should be an individual one and take patient context into account, including the patient’s values regarding specific benefits and harms.
  2. The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years.
  3. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of screening mammography in women 75 years or older.
  4. The USPSTF recommends against teaching breast self-examination (BSE).
  5. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of clinical breast examination (CBE) beyond screening mammography in women 40 years or older.
  6. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the additional benefits and harms of either digital mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instead of film mammography as screening modalities for breast cancer.
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