In October 2015, the American Cancer Society (ACS) changed its recommendations on breast screenings based on a review of evidence of the pros and cons. One of the underlying concerns influencing the decision was the occurrence of false positives, needlessly exposing women to follow-up testing and biopsies.
The ACS is now generally recommending the following:
- Annual mammograms starting at age 45, not 40
- Every other year, not yearly, mammograms at age 55 and over
- Continued screening as long as women are healthy or until their life expectancy is less than 10 years
- No clinical breast exams by doctors physically checking for lumps
However, if you have a family history of breast cancer or are at increased risk, talk to your doctor. You may need to be evaluated more frequently.