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mammography guidelines
guidelines of other health organizations

Advocate has considered the recommendations of various nationally recognized organizations as to when and how often a screening mammogram should occur and has chosen to individualize these recommendations based on a woman's age and her personal risk of developing breast cancer. Advocate's recommendations are based on the following factors:

Family history of pre-menopausal breast cancer
Women with a strong family history of pre-menopausal breast cancer should begin getting a yearly mammogram at an age 10 years younger than when a mother or sister was diagnosed.

Under 50
Women under 50 without a strong history of breast cancer in their family are advised to take a shared decision-making approach. A woman and her doctor, based on identified risk factors, decide on the proper schedule of screening mammograms. Typically this would be every 1-2 years beginning at age 40.

Over 50
A screening mammogram every 1-2 years is recommended for women over 50.

*Recommendations approved by the Advocate Mammography Screening Team April 2002.

Guidelines of other health care organizations

A woman's age is the determining factor in the guidelines of these nationally recognized organizations:

  • Recommends counseling about potential risks and benefits of mammography and clinical breast exam for women ages 40 to 49
    American Academy of Family Physicians 
     
  • Recommend an annual mammogram beginning at age 40
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Cancer Society
    American College of Radiology
    American College of Surgeons

     
  • Recommend a mammogram every 1-2 years for women 40-49 years of age
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist
    American Medical Association
    American Medical Women's Association
    National Cancer Institute
     
     
  • Recommend that women under the age of 50 NOT be screened
    American College of Physicians
    Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination

     
  • State there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine screening for women under 50 years of age
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

     
  • Recommend annual mammograms for women 50 years of age and older
    American Cancer Society
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    American College of Radiology
    American College of Surgeons
    American Medical Association
    American Medical Women's Association
    Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination
     
  • A mammogram every 1 to 2 years for women 50 and over
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American College of Physicians
    American College of Preventive Medicine
    National Cancer Institute
    U.S. Preventive Services Task Force 

As you can see, there are many opinions on the topic of good breast health. The most important thing to remember, however, is that your personal physician who knows your history can best advise you about differing guidelines.


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