American Cancer Society switches up breast-screening guidelines
- The American Cancer Society has issued new guidelines on breast-cancer screening, recommending women with an average risk of breast cancer begin having mammograms at 45 years of age and continue such screenings once a year until 54 years of age, The New York Times reported.
- After 54 years of age, the agency then recommends mammograms every other year as long as individuals are healthy and expected to live another decade.
- The organization has mitigated its traditionally aggressive approach to breast cancer screening, according to The New York Times.
The new guidelines, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, are closer to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations that women, generally, should wait until they are 50 years of age to begin receiving mammograms, NBC News reported.
Another change in the guidelines is they no longer recommend clinical breast exams for individuals, regardless of age, who show no symptoms of breast abnormality.
According to The New York Times, the changes are reflective of “increasing evidence” that mammography has some flaws, not as useful to younger women, and can present false-positive results leading to additional testing.
“These updated ACS guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for breast cancer screening for women at average risk of breast cancer,” the guideline authors wrote. “These recommendations should be considered by physicians and women in discussions about breast cancer screening."
In 2015, 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected in the U.S., The New York Times reported.
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