When should you start regular mammogram screenings? Many women are uncertain about what age they should start and how often they should schedule mammograms. This is due, in part, to conflicting breast cancer screening guidelines. There’s disagreement in screening guidelines even among credible institutions. However, a recent survey found that 80% of doctors recommend patients start mammogram screening at age 40, and MANA physicians agree.
Survey shows support for mammography screening starting at age 40
According to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine, 81% of primary care providers and gynecologists recommend patients start mammography screening between the ages of 40 and 44. Furthermore, 62.9% of physicians recommend annual mammogram screenings for these women.
This was from a survey of 871 doctors, including family doctors and OB-GYNs. Half had 20 years or more of experience. It’s clear that the majority of doctors believe it’s important for women to start annual mammography screenings around age 40 even though some organizations now recommend screening every two years beginning at age 50.
The survey also asked physicians to rank the mammography screening guidelines they trusted most from three major organizations.
- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines were the most trusted with 26%.
- The American Cancer Society guidelines received 23.8%
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines received 22.9%
MANA – along with the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) – recommends annual mammograms for women starting at age 40.
Mammography reduces the rate of breast cancer death
Approximately 1 in 8 women develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Mammogram screenings can detect breast cancer in its early, treatable stages.
While some disagree when to begin mammogram screening, it’s proven that mammography screening reduces the rate of death from breast cancer. According to the Society of Breast Imaging, annual mammograms result in the most life years gained, and greatest loss in mortality.
MANA recommends annual mammography screening for women starting at age 40. Contact the Breast Center today to talk about mammogram screening options.