BREAST CANCER SCREENING
ANCHOR LEAD: BREAST CANCER SCREENING GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The federal government has changed breast cancer screening guidelines from annual mammography to varying frequencies depending on a woman’s age and other factors. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, explains the reasoning behind this change.
BELLANTONI: We now understand that you’re more likely to have an abnormal mammogram in a forty to fifty year old woman than you will to be able to find a cancer if it’s there but there’s very effective screening in that sixty to seventy year old population where the breast tissue is less dense and breast cancer risks increase with aging. But then with older age comes less frequent breast cancers. So what we need to do now is what I call the Goldilocks approach: right size our preventive healthcare. :30
Bellantoni joins many other experts in support of the change in screening guidelines as it is based on evidence rather than surmise or extrapolation from one group of women to another. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.