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On Tuesday, May 9, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) lowered the recommended age for breast cancer screening for women with average risk. They now recommend all women get screened for breast cancer every other year starting at age 40, rather than age 50. With an earlier screening age, the USPSTF hopes that 19% more lives could be saved through early diagnosis and treatment.

This recommendation applies to women at average risk for breast cancer, including those with a family history of breast cancer or other risk factors, such as dense breasts. Those who have a personal history of breast cancer are at very high risk and should be screened according to their physician’s orders. Anyone concerned with their breast health should talk with a member of their healthcare team to establish their own screening schedule.

As the second most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death for women, breast cancer can be difficult to detect without breast exams and mammograms. The USPSTF is updating its recommendation in light of “new and more inclusive science about breast cancer in people younger than 50,” with the hope of saving lives through timely and effective treatment.

If you would like to schedule a mammogram, sign up here or visit the Logan Health Medical Center for our walk-in mammography service Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  For more information on this recent change, see the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Bulletin.