What are the ACOG recommendations for breast cancer screening mammography?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

The decision about the age to begin mammography screening should be made through a shared decision-making process that includes information about the potential benefits and harms. Recommendations (level A) for average-risk women are as follows:

  • Screening mammography should be offered starting at age 40 years.

  • If patient desires, after counseling, initiate mammography at age 40-49 years.

  • Women should begin screening mammography by no later than age 50 years.

  • Mammography may be performed every 1 or 2 years; biennial screening mammography, particularly after age 55 years, is a reasonable option to reduce the frequency of harms, as long as patient counseling includes a discussion that with decreased screening comes some reduction in benefits.

  • Continue screening mammography until age 75 years; beyond that age, the decision to discontinue screening should be based on a shared decision-making process that includes a discussion of the woman's health status and longevity.

ACOG considers that age alone should not be the basis to continue or discontinue screening. Beyond age 75 years, the decision to discontinue screening mammography should be based on a shared decision-making process informed by the woman’s health status and longevity (level C).


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