Fast Five Quiz: Breast Cancer Presentation and Diagnosis

Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH


June 07, 2022

Mortality from breast cancer has steadily declined, largely owing to improvement in early detection through mammographic screening; mammography may reduce breast cancer mortality by up to 40%, per Seely and Alhassan. According to the 2015 Guideline Update from the American Cancer Society, it is strongly recommended that women with an average risk for breast cancer undergo annual screening mammography from age 45-54 years. The same guidelines note that women aged 40-44 years should have the option of participating in screening mammography, and women aged 55 years or older may transition to biennial screening or continue annual screening if desired. Screening should continue with mammography as long as the woman is in good overall health and has a life expectancy of 10 years or longer.

The European Breast Guidelines recommend annual mammography screening for asymptomatic women aged 50-69 years with an average risk for breast cancer, either biennial or triennial mammography for women aged 45-49 years, and triennial over biennial mammography screening for women aged 70-74 years.

Screening for breast cancer at younger ages is associated with higher false-positive diagnoses. Other factors associated with an increased likelihood of a false-positive result include a first mammogram, dense breast, use of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women, and lack of previous mammograms for comparison.

Learn more about the early detection of breast cancer through screening.


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