The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) recently released a Statement on Screening for Breast Cancer, sparked by new recommendations from the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

The ACR and Society of Breast Imaging recommend an annual mammography screening starting at age 40, but in updated guidelines, the ACR lowered its recommended age to 25. 

Stamatia V. Destounis, MD, chair of the ACR Breast Commission and a member of the RSNA Public Information Advisors Network, said, “The ACR recommends that the patient at average risk for breast cancer gets screened with mammography starting at age 40 and yearly thereafter with no upward limit, as age should not be a factor of when a patient stops screening instead of their overall health and other comorbidities. The ACR guidelines speak specifically for the high-risk patient because of family history of breast cancer, and or dense breast tissue as these are groups that the USPSTF fails to recommend any supplemental screening.” 

The USPSTF recently released a statement suggesting biennial mammography screenings for women ages 40 to 74. The recommendation states that the “current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women aged 75 years of age or older.” Public comments on the statement are being accepted until June 6, 2023. 

Dr. Destounis said, “The new Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines from USPSTF do not go far enough in their recommendation for breast cancer screening. Black women are 42 percent more likely to die of breast cancer in comparison to white women and the USPSTF guidelines could exacerbate the disparities by allowing cancers in those high-risk women another year to advance.”

Breast cancer screening targets small cancers in their early stages before it’s symptomatic or significantly spread throughout the body. According to 2015 National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, the breast cancer death rate in the United States (which remained unchanged for the previous 50 years) has decreased by 43 percent due to early mammography screening. 


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