The American College of Physicians has issued new screening guidelines for women of average risk of developing breast cancer.
Part of these new guidelines say an average-risk woman should begin mammogram screenings every-other-year beginning at age fifty.
They also suggest an average-risk woman, who does not have breast symptoms, should have a conversation with her doctor about screening benefits and risks beginning at age forty.
The new guidelines are based on research that says performing mammograms every-other-year reduces the potential for false-positive test results, over-diagnosis, overtreatment, and radiation exposure, among other factors.
But doctors say the level of risk versus the level of benefit is different for every woman, so no guidelines are ‘one-size-fits-all.’
And each woman should have a conversation with her doctor to develop a plan that’s right for her.
It’s also important to note that these new guidelines do not apply to patients who have had prior abnormal screening results or who have a higher risk of breast cancer due to personal history or genetic factors.