In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get your pink out!
The current guidelines across all agencies is for a woman age 50 and over should have yearly mammograms. Additional testing such as ultrasounds may be needed if you are in high risk group such has 1st degree relative with Breast Cancer.
The guidelines for women 40-49 are more disparate. The USPTF and National Cancer Institute based on strong evidence advise mammograms every 1-2 years in this age group. The reason for this is the very high false positives in this group due to denser breast tissue. These guidelines are meant to be made in conjunction with your health care provider based on your own unique personal risk
The Susan J. Komen foundation and the American Cancer Institute guidelines advise yearly mammograms for women aged 40-49. These organizations feel the small survival benefits outweigh the high false positive rates and added radiation risk for yearly mammograms.
The best approach is to discuss with your healthcare provider and to always do monthly self breast exams.
Prerana R. Sangani, MD, MPH, October, 2021