What are the USPSTF guidelines for breast cancer screening?

Updated: Apr 10, 2019
  • Author: Erin V Newton, MD; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

In January 2016, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)  issued its final recommendations on breast cancer screening. [4, 2] The guidelines include the following:

  • The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years

  • No requirement for routine screening mammography in women aged 40-49 years (grade C recommendation); the decision to start regular, biennial screening mammography before age 50 years should be an individual one and should take into account patient context, including the patient's values regarding specific benefits and harms

  • Insufficient current evidence to assess the additional benefits and harms of screening mammography in women aged 75 years or older

  • Insufficient current evidence to assess the additional benefits and harms of either digital mammography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instead of film mammography as a screening modality for breast cancer

  • No requirement for clinicians to teach women how to perform BSE (grade D recommendation); this recommendation is based on studies that found that teaching BSE did not reduce breast cancer mortality but instead resulted in additional imaging procedures and biopsies

  • Insufficient current evidence to assess the additional benefits and harms of clinical breast examination (CBE) beyond screening mammography in women aged 40 years or older


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