The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently revised its screening recommendations for breast cancer based upon an analysis of various mammography screening schedules. Experts suggest screening every two years for average risk women ages 50 to 74 achieves most of the benefits of annual screening, but with less harm. Furthermore, although there was a decrease in mortality for women ages 40 to 49, screening resulted in additional mammograms and false positives, therefore is not being recommended.
These findings are published in the November 17, 2009 Annals of Internal Medicine. Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic, Rochester, Minn., answers questions related to these new guidelines.