Practice Guidelines

Cancer Screening: ACS Releases Annual Summary of Recommendations

Am Fam Physician. 2019;99(11):719-722. 

In This Article

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women living in the United States, with an estimated 266,120 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2018 and an associated 40,920 deaths. The ACS screening recommendations in women at average risk were updated in 2015 and have not changed. This guideline underscores the importance of yearly screening in women 45 to 54 years of age and those 40 to 44 years who choose earlier screening, because evidence has shown that such screening in premenopausal women is associated with a significantly decreased risk of identifying advanced breast cancer compared with screening performed every other year. Postmenopausal women do not have similar benefits associated with yearly screening, unless they are currently receiving hormone treatment for menopause; therefore, women 55 years or older can receive screening every other year or yearly, depending on patient preference. An age to stop screening is not identified, but continued screening may be beneficial in certain women 75 years or older, taking into account mortality, age, comorbidities, and function. These recommendations were made after a review of the burden of disease and of the benefits and harms of screening. An update to the 2007 screening recommendations in women at greater than average risk is currently being completed.

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