Breast Screening Confusion

Putting an end to the confusion:
Women want to know when to start breast screening, and how often.

With all the conflicting stories in the news, women have reported increased confusion about the recommended starting age and frequency of breast screening. The correct answer—according to the breast cancer experts—is once per year, every year, starting at age 40 or earlier if you are considered to be at high risk.

One of the largest misconceptions about breast cancers centers on family history. Many women think because they don’t have a family history that they can skip a mammogram. The fact is that 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.

The latest clinical research shows that:
  • Annual screening starting at 40 reduces mortality by nearly 40%–compared with just 23.2% for biennial (once every two years) screening1
  • Women in their 40s account for nearly 20% of all screen-detected breast cancers2, and the more aggressive breast cancers are often in women under 50
  • In a single year, if every woman 40 years of age and older had annual mammograms, there would be 29,369 lives saved1
  • The two biggest risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman and getting older; thus screening mammograms should be also performed annually in older women, too (until the age of 841 or longer per your doctor’s recommendation)
  • African American women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at a higher risk for breast cancer, and should have a breast cancer risk assessment at age 30 to determine if annual mammograms should begin before 40 years of age.3

The American College of Obstetricians, The American College of Radiology, The Society for Breast Imaging and the American Society of Breast Surgeons all agree… screening mammography starting at age 40 for women at average risk is best, and possibly earlier for women at high risk.

So is there really a difference in mammography providers?

Yes. The evidence shows that today’s advanced imaging equipment—like the kind we use at Huntington-Hill Imaging Centers and The Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center—is far superior at detecting breast cancer earlier, with fewer false positives and callbacks.

Huntington-Hill Imaging Centers and the Jim & Eleanor Randall Breast Center offer the best breast imaging services in the San Gabriel Valley. Our subspecialty trained doctors, quality of equipment and increased training of the technologists play a major role in the cancer detection rate. And the earlier a cancer is detected, the more treatment options a patient has access to and the more successful those treatments will be. When detected early, the chances for successfully treating breast cancer increase dramatically, with a 98% 5-year survival rate. In fact, many women who have benefited from early detection are able to be fully cured without having chemotherapy or mastectomies.

When was your last mammogram?

Call us today at 626.698.7266 to book yours.

1.) Cancer 21 August 2017 Comparison of recommendations for screening mammography using CISNET models. Elizabeth Kagan Arlea MD et al.
2.) American Journal of Roentgenology. Voume 209, Issue 3 September 2017. Screening Mammography for Women in Their 40s: The potential impact of the ACS and USFSTF breast cancer screening recommendations. Jenifer A. Pitman, et al.
3.) American College of Radiology recommendation