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Breast Cancer Screening

What Women Need to Know About Changes in Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

The American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, among others, recommend that all women have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. Women at high risk may benefit from starting earlier.

Differences in Risk

Some of the confusion surrounds the ACS’s definition of an “average-risk” woman is, which is essentially women who are not above-average risk. Women with above-average risk are defined by ACS as “women with a personal history of breast cancer, a family history of breast cancer, a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer (such as BRCA), and women who had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30.”

Additional screening recommendations exist for women at a high risk for developing breast cancer. Because of this uncertainty, Dr. Rawson and the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging stress the importance of early screenings.

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