The October 2019 WMHS Population Health Focus: Breast Cancer Prevention
What breast cancer screening guidelines should I use?
It has been recognized that there are numerous national organizations who have developed their own mammography screening guidelines. The variation among these recommendations often causes confusion and frustration for many women, their families and the providers who care for them.
After an extensive and multidisciplinary review of numerous national screening guidelines, Western Maryland Health System’s Breast Program Leadership Committee has adopted the recommended screening guidelines of the American College of Radiology and the American Cancer Society.
At what age should I get my first mammogram?
We encourage asymptomatic women with general population risk to begin screening mammograms at age 40. We recommend that breast cancer screening should continue annually as long as a woman is in good health. For women after age 75, the decision to stop breast cancer screening should be based on an individualized discussion between each woman and her provider. Higher-risk women should start mammographic screening earlier and may benefit from supplemental screening modalities. Individual risk should be assessed.
Do mammograms help save lives?
As reported by the ACS, breast cancer death rates declined 40% from 1989 to 2016 among women. The progress is attributed to improvements in early detection. An early diagnosis increases the odds of successful treatment and can preserve quality of life for women.
Thank you for entrusting the care of your patients to the Western Maryland Health System Center for Breast Care. We will continue to examine screening guideline reports and provide community updates, as appropriate.
How can I learn more about breast cancer prevention?
You may also contact Blanche Mavromatis M.D., Breast Program Director, The Breast Program Leadership Committee, Western Maryland Health System Center for Breast Care, with any questions or concerns.