New Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

New Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

Take-Home Message:

The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) has updated its recommendations for breast cancer screening. These recommendations reflect the considerations that must be made for each individual woman’s personal and family histories.

American Society of Breast Surgeons Official Statement: Position Statement on Screening Mammography

The role of screening mammography has evolved over decades. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPTF) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have both released their recommendations for breast cancer screening in recent years. These recommendations favor individual risk assessment and beginning mammograms after age 40. The ASBrS released a statement supporting the guidelines of the USPTF and the ACS in 2015.

Now, the ASBrS has updated its recommendations based upon more recent observations in the United States. The present and increasing diversity of women in this country means that breast cancer risk and screening needs will vary from person to person. Women with previous breast cancer, chest wall radiation, Ashkenazi Jewish or African descent are some examples of cases where risk and screening must be carefully considered. General screening recommendations will not apply to every woman in the same way.

The idea of an individualized approach to risk assessment and screening has created some confusion. The questions of when to start screening (age 40 or older), how to assess risk and how to explain risk have created concern and anxiety for many women and providers. The ASBrS supports a uniform plan to address these issues.

To read the full position statement by the American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation, please go to