Screening Mammography Starting at Age 40 years May Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths by 40 percent

September 12th, 2017

In the US, about 33 million screening mammograms are performed each year. Currently, the major national health care organizations in the US have different recommendations for screening mammography which has led to some confusion and emotional counterarguments. These several different recommendations include 1) Annual screening at ages 40 to 84 years. 2) Annual screening at ages 45 to 54 years and then biennially at ages 55 to 79 years. 3) Biennial screening at ages 50 to 74 years.

In a recently published study (CANCER,  August 21, 2017), it was noted  that the greatest breast cancer-specific mortality reduction was achieved with annual screening of women starting at age 40 years, saving 29,369 lives from breast cancer. This is the first study to compare the three most widely discussed recommendations for screening mammography, head to head.