USPSTF Draft Recommendation Calls for Screening for Breast Cancer Every Other Year, Starting at Age 40
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft recommendation statement recommending all women to get screened for breast cancer starting at 40 years of age.
Previously, the USPSTF encouraged women in their 40s to talk to their physician about breast cancer screenings. Now, based on new evidence, the updated recommendation calls for breast screenings every other year for all women aged 40 to 74 years of age. The USPSTF believes that this revised recommendation will result in 19% more lives being saved.
“New and more inclusive science about breast cancer in people younger than 50 has enabled us to expand prior recommendation and encourage all women to get screened every other year starting at age 40,” USPSTF immediate past chair Carol Mangione, MD, MPSH, said. “This new recommendation will help save lives and prevent more women from dying due to breast cancer.”
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer and second most common cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Additionally, the USPSTF noted troubling trends in the recent data, particularly that women who are Black are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than women who are White. Considering this recent data, the USPSTF is calling for more research to be done to understand the causes and how such a health disparity can be eliminated.
Further, the USPSTF called for more research to determine whether women with dense breasts need additional screening with ultrasound or MRI.
“We know that the mammogram doesn’t work as well in women with dense breasts, so the task force has made a vigorous call for additional research so that we can have a clear understanding of what the most subsequent tests do to keep women with dense breasts healthy, ” Dr Mangione said.
Dr Mangione noted that 40% of women in the United States have dense breasts, and having dense breasts is known risk factor for breast cancer.
The task force also recommended more research to investigate the benefits and harms for screening women older than 75 years of age.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Draft recommendation statement; May 9, 2023. Accessed May 9, 2023. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/draft-recommendation/breast-cancer-screening-adults
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the USPSTF recommended breast cancer screenings biannually for adults starting at age 40. The article has been updated to reflect that the recommendation calls for breast cancer screenings every other year. We apologize for the error.