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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Screening for Breast Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

Albert L Siu
Annals of Internal Medicine 2016 February 16, 164 (4): 279-96
26757170

DESCRIPTION: Update of the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for breast cancer.

METHODS: The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the following: effectiveness of breast cancer screening in reducing breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality, as well as the incidence of advanced breast cancer and treatment-related morbidity; harms of breast cancer screening; test performance characteristics of digital breast tomosynthesis as a primary screening strategy; and adjunctive screening in women with increased breast density. In addition, the USPSTF reviewed comparative decision models on optimal starting and stopping ages and intervals for screening mammography; how breast density, breast cancer risk, and comorbidity level affect the balance of benefit and harms of screening mammography; and the number of radiation-induced breast cancer cases and deaths associated with different screening mammography strategies over the course of a woman's lifetime.

POPULATION: This recommendation applies to asymptomatic women aged 40 years or older who do not have preexisting breast cancer or a previously diagnosed high-risk breast lesion and who are not at high risk for breast cancer because of a known underlying genetic mutation (such as a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation or other familial breast cancer syndrome) or a history of chest radiation at a young age.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 50 to 74 years. (B recommendation) The decision to start screening mammography in women prior to age 50 years should be an individual one. Women who place a higher value on the potential benefit than the potential harms may choose to begin biennial screening between the ages of 40 and 49 years. (C recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women aged 75 years or older. (I statement) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits and harms of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) as a primary screening method for breast cancer. (I statement) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of adjunctive screening for breast cancer using breast ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), DBT, or other methods in women identified to have dense breasts on an otherwise negative screening mammogram. (I statement).

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