The panel says mammograms should start at 40

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Regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer should start younger, at age 40, according to an influential U.S. task force.
The announcement Tuesday from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force makes official a draft recommendation announced last year.
But breast cancer is still the second-most common cause of cancer death for U.S. women.
About 240,000 cases are diagnosed annually and nearly 43,000 women die from breast cancer.
“Sadly, we know all too well that Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women,” Wong said.
The advice does not apply to women who’ve had breast cancer or those at very high risk of breast cancer because of genetic markers.
Congress already passed legislation requiring insurers to pay for mammograms for women 40 and older without copays or deductibles.
In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover task force recommendations with an “A” or “B” letter grade.


A significant U.S. study suggests that routine mammograms for the purpose of screening for breast cancer should begin earlier, at age 40. s. work group. Per the group, screening should be done every other year for women between the ages of 40 and 74.

The task force previously recommended that women begin screening for breast cancer as early as 40, though it was strongly advised that they begin the examinations every two years from the age of 50 to 74.

The U.S. made the announcement on Tuesday. S. The Preventive Services Task Force formally announces a draft recommendation that was made public last year. The Journal of the American Medical Association published the recommendations.

According to Dr. Therese Bevers of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, “it’s a win that they are now recognizing the benefits of screening women in their 40s.”. She wasn’t part of the advisory team.

Although this may cause confusion, Bevers noted that “now the starting age will align with what many other organizations are saying.” Other medical groups, such as the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society, recommend mammograms annually, as opposed to every other year. “.

The mortality rate from breast cancer has decreased as treatment advances. Yet among Americans, breast cancer continues to be the second most common cause of cancer-related death. s. women. Every year, about 43,000 women pass away from breast cancer, out of about 240,000 cases that are diagnosed.

The push for earlier screening, according to task force vice chair Dr. John Wong of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, is intended to address two troubling issues: the rising incidence of breast cancer among women in their 40s, which has increased by 2 percent annually since 2015, and the higher breast cancer death rate among Black women in comparison to White women.

Wong stated, “Sadly, we are all too aware that Black women have a 40% higher risk of dying from breast cancer than White women.”. According to modeling studies, early screening could benefit Black women “even more,” he added, and benefit all women.

Here are further specifics regarding the changes, their significance, and who needs to be aware of them.

What is the ideal time to purchase a macrograph?

For women, transgender men, and nonbinary individuals at average risk, the recommended age to begin mammograms is forty. Based on the updated recommendations, they should undergo the X-ray examination every other year. Some organizations advise getting a mammogram every year beginning at age 40 or 45.

Women who have had breast cancer or who are extremely at risk of developing breast cancer due to genetic markers are not covered by the advice. Neither women who have had a lesion on a prior biopsy or those who received high-dose radiation therapy to the chest in their youth are eligible.


Whether older women should still have routine mammograms is unclear. The task force is requesting more research because studies involving women 75 years of age and older are uncommon.

Bevers advises senior women to discuss the advantages of screening with their physicians in addition to potential risks, such as needless biopsies and false alarms.


Women with dense breasts do not have as good of a mammogram experience, but they should still have the test.

The task force wants to see more data regarding additional examinations, like MRIs or ultrasounds, for women with dense breasts. According to Wong, it’s unclear if those tests could identify cancer at an earlier, more manageable stage.


Congress has already enacted laws mandating that insurers cover the cost of mammograms for women 40 years of age and above, with no deductions or copays. Furthermore, insurers are required by the Affordable Care Act to honor task force recommendations with a letter grade of “A” or “B.”. A “B” grade indicates a moderate net benefit for the mammography recommendation.


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