Medical personnel use a mammogram to look at a lady’s breast for breast cancer.
Hannibal Hanschke | dpa | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
Most girls should get screened for breast cancer every other 12 months starting at age 40, a decade sooner than previously advisable, in response to draft guidelines issued Tuesday by a government-backed panel of experts.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said its recent guidance could save 19% more lives.
Every year within the U.S., about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and roughly 2,400 in men, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 42,000 women and 500 men within the U.S. die every year from the disease.
Breast cancer screenings typically involve a mammogram, which is an X-ray of the breast.
The panel’s guidance applies to cisgender women and all other people assigned female at birth who’re at average risk of breast cancer. It doesn’t apply to people at high risk of breast cancer, including those that have a family history of the disease.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendations are often widely adopted within the U.S. The panel’s previous guidance, which was last updated in 2016, suggested women should start screening every other 12 months at age 50.
That guidance also said women of their 40s could talk over with their doctors about getting screened, particularly in the event that they have a family history of breast cancer.
On the time, the panel was concerned earlier screenings could lead on to unnecessary treatment for young women, including biopsies that turn into negative. A biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the body, which gets tested for a disease like cancer.
However the panel said it modified that guidance because of “recent and more inclusive science” about breast cancer in people younger than 50, in response to Dr. Carol Mangione, immediate past chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The speed of breast cancer amongst women ages 40 to 49 increased 2% every year on average from 2015 to 2019, in response to the National Cancer Institute.
The panel said the brand new guidance also goals to ease the disparities in breast cancer death rates between Black women and white women.
Black women are 40% more likely to die of the disease than their white counterparts and “too often get deadly cancers at younger ages,” the panel said in the rules.
The panel urgently called for more research on eliminate the disparity.
“Ensuring Black women start screening at age 40 is a crucial first step, yet it isn’t enough to enhance the health inequities we face related to breast cancer,” Dr. Wanda Nicholson, the panel’s vice chair, said in the rules.
Other medical groups, including the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society, already recommend annual breast cancer screenings before age 50.
About 60% of girls ages 40 to 49 reported having a mammogram inside the past two years in 2019, in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.