New guidance drops breast cancer screening age by a decade, encourages start at 40
DELMARVA – New guidance recommends that women begin getting mammograms bi-annually starting at the age of 40. That’s according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
It’s a decade earlier than the previous recommendation of 50 years old.
The move comes as new evidence shows an up-tick in breast cancer for women in their 40s. Upwards of 9,000 patients are diagnosed yearly in the U.S. and moving that age up could save an extra 20% of lives.
We spoke with the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute at TidalHealth who tells us this could be a benefit on the shore as well. “In general, if you look at the Eastern Shore of Maryland compared to other parts of the country, we have about a 10-25% higher rate of cancer here on the shore,” Dr. John Mansueti said.
“If everyone followed these screening tests, we could save many more lives here on the Eastern Shore.”
TidalHealth says you can start taking preventative measures now which include keeping up a good diet, exercising, and limiting alcohol use.
We’re also told that if you’re at risk or have a history of breast cancer in your family that you should talk with your primary care doctor to get those screenings moved up earlier than age 40.