On October 20, the American Cancer Society released new breast cancer screening guidelines. Here is a summary of the changes, directly from the American Cancer Society:
The New Recommendations from American Cancer Society:
- Women with an average risk of breast cancer – most women – should begin yearly mammograms at age 45.
- Women should be able to start the screening as early as age 40, if they want to. It’s a good idea to start talking to your health care provider at age 40 about when you should begin screening.
- At age 55, women should have mammograms every other year – though women who want to keep having yearly mammograms should be able to do so.
- Regular mammograms should continue for as long as a woman is in good health.
- Breast exams, either from a medical provider or self-exams, are no longer recommended.
At Ob-Gyn Associates, we expect and understand that guidelines will be modified as new evidence is available to us. Recommended breast cancer screening guidelines should always be taken into consideration; however, adjustments should be made when appropriate to adequately serve each individual patient. When it comes to breast cancer screening, like most things in medicine, we believe medical care needs to be individualized to fit the specific needs of each patient.
Currently, there are 3 organizations which have published breast cancer screening guidelines. Each organization has differing opinions on when breast cancer screening should be initiated.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Cancer Society
- US Preventive Services Task Force
Currently, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists continues to support screening mammography every year for women aged 40 or older and emphasizes the importance of clinical breast exams. Hence, at Ob-Gyn Associates, we will continue to offer these services to our patients as we believe both are vital components of breast cancer screening.