Skip to content

    Breast Cancer Health Center

    Breast Cancer Screening and Detection

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    When it comes to breast cancer screening and detection, experts and advocacy groups don't agree on when women should start getting regular breast cancer screening mammograms. Without delving into the controversy, consider these facts:

    1. The lifetime risk (to age 85) of a woman developing breast cancer in 1940 was 5% or one in 20; the risk is now 13.4%, or greater than one in 8.
    2. It is estimated that in 2015, about 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer.
    3. Women who undergo breast cancer screening mammograms have demonstrated significantly reduced deaths from the disease.
    4. The effectiveness of any breast cancer screening program will depend on how often women are screened, compliance with screening recommendations, and the quality of the screening test.

     

    Recommended Related to Breast Cancer

    Girl's Guide to Preventing, Avoiding, Treating, and Even Beating Cancer

    By Ashley Ross and Sophie Banay MouraCancer: The word alone can paralyze us. Instead of protecting ourselves, we resort to magical thinking—it won't happen to me. That's a mistake. Rates of the top five cancers in women 20 to 39—in order, they are breast, thyroid, melanoma, cervical, and colorectal—are rising. The good news: There's a lot you can do to prevent them. We talked to the country's top doctors and mined the latest research for Marie Claire's first-ever cancer crash course. Here, how to...

    Read the Girl's Guide to Preventing, Avoiding, Treating, and Even Beating Cancer article > >

    Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

    The following are American Cancer Society recommendations for breast cancer screening:

    • Breast exam by a health care provider is recommended by some expert groups every 1-3 years starting at age 20 and annually beginning at age 40.
    • Annual screening mammography starting at age 45; breast cancer experts don't all agree. When you need a mammogram is a personal decision between you and your doctor.
    • Women in high-risk categories should have screening mammograms every year and typically start at an earlier age. Ultrasound screening can also be given in addition to mammograms. Breast MRI may be used if a woman has a lifetime risk of breast cancer greater than 20%. Discuss the best approach with your doctor.

     

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on November 10, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Breast Cancer Overview
    From mammograms to living after treatment.
    Dealing with breast cancer
    Get answers to your questions.
     
    woman having mammogram
    The 3 latest tips to know.
    woman undergoing breast cancer test
    Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
     
    Resolved To Quit Smoking
    VIDEO
    Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
    Article
     
    Woman getting mammogram
    Article
    Screening Tests for Women
    Article
     
    serious woman
    Article
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    QUIZ
     
    what is your cancer risk
    Article
    breast cancer survivors
    Article