Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended a change to the established mammography screening guidelines. The task force advised against regular mammography screening for women between ages 40 and 49. It suggested that women between ages 50 and 74 get mammograms every other year (rather than yearly), and then breast cancer screening in women over 74 should be discontinued.

"This has generated considerable confusion and worry among women", says Carl D'Orsi, MD, Director of Breast Imaging Research at Emory. D'Orsi says he is counseling women to use the long-established American Cancer Society guidelines: annual screening using mammography and clinical breast examination for all women beginning at age 40.

Dr. D'Orsi has dedicated much of his career to research in the area of breast imaging and early detection of breast cancer. According to Dr. D'Orsi, while mammography is not a perfect test, it has unquestionably saved lives. Since the onset of regular mammography screening in 1990, the mortality rate from breast cancer (unchanged for the preceding 50 years) has decreased by 30 percent. These new recommendations – which are based on a review that did not include experts in breast cancer detection and diagnosis – ignore valid scientific data and place a great many women at risk, continues D'Orsi.

The Emory Breast Center supports the American Cancer Society guidelines that recommend annual screening through mammography and clinical breast examination beginning at age 40.

To schedule a screening mammogram, call (404) 778-PINK (7465).