Guthrie Doctor Discusses Lowering Age For Breast Cancer Screening
SAYRE, P.A. (WENY) - The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is now recommending mammography screening every other year for women of average risk, beginning at age 40.
It's an improvement, but only a step in the right direction, according to the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging.
Guthrie agrees, saying the recommendations should go further, advocating for annual mammograms for women beginning at age 40. Dr. Geneva Ballard, Breast Imaging Section Chief for Guthrie discussed the new recommendations and the purpose of getting screened regularly.
"The goal of screening is really to catch those cancers at their earliest stage as soon as they are detectable," says Ballard. "When you screen annually, you are more likely to pick up a small cancer that's just starting rather than giving that malignancy in additional year to grow before you'd be able to pick it up."
For women at higher risk for breast cancer based on family history, Ballard recommends screening even earlier in their 30s.