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National Mammography Recommendations Revised

USPSTF now recommends routine mammography every two years for women aged 50 to 74 years

TUESDAY, Nov. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Routine mammography screening for breast cancer is recommended for women between the ages of 50 and 74, and should be repeated every two years, according to revised recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The new USPSTF recommendation is a change from 2002 when it recommended mammography every one to two years for all women over 40. The USPSTF now explicitly recommends against routine screening for women aged 40 to 49. The USPSTF also evaluated five screening modalities: film mammography, digital mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, clinical breast examination, and breast self-examination. Evidence was found insufficient to rank the imaging modalities, but the USPSTF recommended against clinicians teaching women breast self-examination.

In a second study in the journal, Jeanne S. Mandelblatt, M.D., of the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues used six computer models and national data to evaluate 20 screening strategies using varied ages and screening intervals. The six models agreed that biennial screening achieved an average 81 percent of the benefit of annual screening with not quite half the number of false-positive findings. Also, biennial screening for ages 50 to 69 resulted in a median 16.5 percent decrease in deaths compared to no screening.

"Biennial screening achieves most of the benefit of annual screening with less harm. Decisions about the best strategy depend on program and individual objectives and the weight placed on benefits, harms, and resource considerations," Mandelblatt and colleagues write.

Abstract - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
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Abstract - Mandelblatt
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