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Lowering the Age for Mammograms:
In recent years, more women around the age of 40 have been diagnosed with breast cancer (Bever, 2023). Breast cancer screening is used as a preventative measure to find cancer before symptoms occur, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS, 2023). According to National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, mammograms have decreased breast cancer-related deaths by 43% (ACS, 2023). The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2023) released a draft recommendation statement that suggests, “All women should get screened for breast cancer every other year, starting at age 40.” The ACS (2023) concurs that women between the ages of “40 to 44 should have the choice to start… breast cancer screening.” Doctor John Wong predicts that earlier and annual screening will decrease the mortality rate of breast cancer by 20% (John Wong, 2023, as cited in Bever, 2023).
Going beyond the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s draft recommendation statement, The ACS (2023) states that women between the ages of “40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening.” Bever (2023) agrees, stating that the task force should advise for annual mammograms instead of biennial mammograms. Dr. Francis Arena (2023, as cited in McGowan, 2023) also acknowledges that mammograms should be offered annually. Maxin Jochelson (2023, as cited in Bever, 2023) insists that “A two-year interval can allow a more aggressive breast cancer to grow significantly and reduce the chance of the patient being cured or increase the chance that she needs additional treatment.”
Here for the girls recognizes the importance of age and its impact on breast cancer screening. The ACS (2023) states, The latest scientific evidence continues to point to earlier assessment as well as augmented and earlier-than-age-40 screening of many women — particularly Black women and other minority women. These evidence-based updates should spur more-informed doctor-patient conversations and help providers save more lives.” The New American College of Radiology (ACR) (2023, as cited in Henderson, 2023) recommends women “to have risk assessment by age 25 to determine if screening earlier than age 40 is needed.”
American Cancer Society. (2023). Cancer screening guidelines: Detecting cancer early. Cancer Screening Guidelines | Detecting Cancer Early. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/screening/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html
Bever, L. (2023). Health panel recommends women get screening mammograms at age 40. The Washington Post. https://apple.news/AlU353puXROqx0w7R2PQozQ
Henderson, E. (2023, May 5). New ACR guidelines for high-risk women recommend earlier and more intensive breast cancer screening. News. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230505/New-ACR-guidelines-for-high-risk-women-recommend-earlier-and-more-intensive-breast-cancer-screening.aspx
McGowan, C. (2023). New recommendations lower age for first mammograms. Spectrum News NY1. https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/health/2023/05/12/new-recommendations-lower-age-for-first-mammogram
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2023). Screening for Breast Cancer. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/home/getfilebytoken/Pzg3TJ_66TF-V-uz6FCwqP