NEW recommended mammography guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
Due to the high incidence of breast cancer in the US and the potential to reduce deaths from it when caught early, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) today issued new breast cancer screening guidelines that recommend mammography screening be offered annually to women beginning at age 40. Previous College guidelines recommended mammograms every one to two years starting at age 40 and annually beginning at age 50.
According to Jennifer Griffin, M.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Olson Center, who co-authored the guidelines, the change in mammography screening for women beginning at age 40 is based on three factors: the incidence of breast cancer, the sojourn time for breast cancer growth, and the potential to reduce the number of deaths from it. The time period between when a breast cancer may be detected by a mammogram while it is very small and before it grows big enough to become symptomatic is known as the sojourn time. Although the sojourn time of individual cancers can vary, the greatest predictor is age. Women ages 40-49 have the shortest average sojourn time (2-2.4 years), while women ages 70-74 have the longest average sojourn time (4-4.1 years).
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