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Screening for Breast Cancer
There is controversy in when to initiate and how often to screen for breast cancer with mammography. Below is a summary of various aspects of screening for breast cancer. A more detailed report can be found at the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) website:
When to start screening with mammography?
All guidelines released by major North American organizations recommend screening mammography for women>50 years old. The majority of controversy lies whether to screen women between 40-49.
How often to screen for breast cancer?
The USPSTF recommends biennial screening for women aged 50-74 years and notes that “ there is little evidence to suggest that annual mammography is more effective than mammography done every other year .”
Should a routine clinical breast exams or routine self-breast exams be performed?
The USPSTF considers there to be insufficient evidence to recommend for or against clinical breast examination . They do, however, note that the evidence offers moderate certainty that the harms of breast self-examination outweigh the benefits.
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