Remember Your Annual Mammography Screening
November 19, 2011
John Stoddard Cancer Center
In response to recent news regarding new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) mammography recommendations, John Stoddard Cancer Center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and the American Cancer Society continue to recommend annual screening using mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at age 40.
Screening with mammography reduces breast cancer mortality in women ages 40-74. Mammography has limitations - some women who are screened will have false alarms; some cancers will be missed; and some women will undergo unnecessary treatment. These limitations are somewhat greater in women in their forties compared to women in their fifties, and somewhat greater in women in their fifties compared to women in their sixties. The overall effectiveness of mammography increases with increasing age. But the limitations DO NOT change the fact that breast cancer screening using mammography starting at age 40 saves lives.
The new recommendations do not take into consideration new technology such as digital mammography or MRI. John Stoddard Cancer Center will continue to recommend screening to patients starting at age 40 at regular intervals.
Varying from this routine would require specific physician discussion with the patient regarding individual risks as well as pros/cons of screening. These new guidelines do not take into consideration women who have a family history of breast cancer.
Talk to your provider if you have questions or concerns, or visit www.johnstoddardcancer.org for more information.