Intended for healthcare professionals


US panel reaffirms controversial 2009 mammography recommendations

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 22 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2174
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

In new draft guidelines released on 21 April the US Preventive Services Task Force has reaffirmed its controversial 2009 position that women who have an average risk of developing breast cancer should undergo routine screening mammography starting at age 50 and that the tests should be done every two years through to age 75.1 Several US medical societies have recommended yearly screening from age 40.

Mammography screening every two years for women in their 40s can be of benefit, the task force said, but it also carries potential harms, so the decision to undergo screening should be an individual one that a woman makes in partnership with her physician.

It warned, “The science shows that some women in their 40s …

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