The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently released updated breast cancer screening guidelines for women at average risk for breast cancer. Their previous guidelines, which encouraged women to get screened annually starting at age 40, were released in 2003. ACS commissioned a systematic evidence review of breast cancer screening literature and an analysis of mammography registry data to address questions related to the screening interval. The updated recommendations were based on the quality of the evidence and judgment about the balance of benefits and harms. ACS now recommends that women with an average risk of breast cancer undergo regular screening mammography starting at age 45 years and women aged 45 to 54 years be screened annually. Women 55 years and older should transition to biennial screening or have the opportunity to continue screening annually. The new recommendations vary from “strong” to “qualified” and state that women should continue to have the opportunity to begin annual screening between the ages of 40 and 44 years. See the JAMA article for more information.
For more information about breast cancer screening in Wisconsin, you may also be interested in learning more about the WI Breast Cancer Taskforce.