What Are the New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines for Average-Risk Women?

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing MammogramThe American Cancer Society (ACS) recently updated their breast cancer screening guidelines for women who are at an average risk of developing the disease.  It was published in the October 20, 2015 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Society).

Here are the recommendations:

  • Women with an average risk of breast cancer should undergo regular screening mammograms starting at age 45
  • Starting at 40, have annual screenings if the woman desires
  • For women aged 45 to 54, the screenings must be annual
  • For women over 55, mammograms every 2 years or annually if the women desires
  • Screen as long as the overall health of the women is good or if her life expectancy is 10 years or greater
  • For average-risk women at any age, ACS does not recommend clinical breast exams for breast cancer screening

These recommendations have refueled the debate over what are the best guidelines, and these differ from the other major health organizations.  It can be confusing, but I think it opens more discussions between women and their health care providers concerning the best way to screen for breast cancer for each individual.  Please continue to speak to your health care provider about your breast health and come up with a plan best suited for you.

-Dr. P

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Don’t Only Be Aware in October

As October quickly comes to a close, the breast cancer awareness campaign will also come to an end.  It is imperative that our fight against breast cancer should not be at the forefront of our minds only in October but be there day by day, all year long.  All of us have someone close who has suffered with this cancer, so all of us must encourage the women in our lives to pursue proper breast health.  Don’t hold back today; speak to someone dear to you about breast cancer and you may save a loved one’s life!Mother and Daughter Face To Face

-Dr. P

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