When should I start mammography to check if I have breast cancer?

Through a paper published on the Journal of American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society (ACS) pushed back recommended mammograms starting age to 45 from 40.  ACS also recommends that average women have mammograms every year at age 45, and every two years at age 55 and continuing for as long as they are healthy and expect to live at least 10 more years.

These are updated guideline:

American Cancer Society Guideline for Breast Cancer Screening, 2015

These recommendations represent guidance from the American Cancer Society (ACS) for women at average risk of breast cancer: women without a personal history of breast cancer, a suspected or confirmed genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (eg, BRCA), or a history of previous radiotherapy to the chest at a young age.

The ACS recommends that all women should become familiar with the potential benefits, limitations, and harms associated with breast cancer screening.

  1. Women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular screening mammography starting at age 45 years. (Strong Recommendation)

    • 1a. Women aged 45 to 54 years should be screened annually. (Qualified Recommendation)

    • 1b. Women 55 years and older should transition to biennial screening or have the opportunity to continue screening annually. (Qualified Recommendation)

    • 1c. Women should have the opportunity to begin annual screening between the ages of 40 and 44 years. (Qualified Recommendation)

  2. Women should continue screening mammography as long as their overall health is good and they have a life expectancy of 10 years or longer. (Qualified Recommendation)

  3. The ACS does not recommend clinical breast examination for breast cancer screening among average-risk women at any age. (Qualified Recommendation)




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