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8 June, 2023

Delaware Imaging Network Responds to New USPSTF Breast Screening Recommendations

New USPSTF Breast Screening Recommendations, Delaware

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an important advisor on preventive health services, reversed a key breast cancer screening guideline yesterday. 

In a draft statement, the group now recommends that women get mammograms every two years starting at age 40, not age 50, as it stated previously. Delaware Imaging Network welcomes the USPSTF’s lowering of the starting age for breast cancer screening. However, we believe that the Task Force should also adjust its recommendation on the appropriate interval between screenings. We believe that all women at average risk should get screened every year beginning at age 40.

The USPSTF lowered the recommended starting age for breast cancer screening to age 40 in response to an increase in breast cancer diagnosis in younger women and persistent mortality rates for Black women. “These updated, science-based recommendations by the USPSTF for women to begin Mammography screening at age 40 are most welcome,” according to Jacqueline Holt, MD, FACR, and Medical Director of Women’s Imaging at Delaware Imaging Network. “However, most lives are saved by annual screening."

Our own data and multiple studies support our stance on annual breast screening: early detection saves lives. When a malignant or invasive cancer is found in an early stage, it is easier to treat. When breast cancer is found at Stage 1, the five-year survival rate is over 99%. Annual screening helps clinicians detect changes in a patient’s breast tissue over time and accurately assess any suspicious findings as quickly as possible. For these reasons, American Radiology Services maintains that women should not delay screening until a later age, and that the optimal interval for a mammogram is every 12 months.

8 June, 2023