Imaging Groups Issue Breast Screening Recommendations

SBI, ACR suggest annual mammography at 40 for women at average risk; also discuss use of MRI
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Citing gaps in existing guidelines, the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) issued recommendations for the use of mammography, MRI, and other imaging approaches for breast cancer screening in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Carol H. Lee, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues suggest that women at average risk of breast cancer begin annual mammography at 40 years of age. Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, or those with first-degree relatives with BRCA mutations, should begin between 25 and 30 years. Women with at least a 20-percent lifetime risk based on family history should start between the ages of 25 and 30, or 10 years before the age of diagnosis in the youngest relative, whichever is later.

In addition, the authors advise that annual mammography screening should stop when life expectancy is less than five to seven years, or when abnormal results wouldn't be acted upon. Annual MRI is appropriate starting by age 30 in women with a harmful BRCA mutation, first-degree relatives of BRCA carriers, and those with more than a 20-percent lifetime risk based on family history.

"The SBI and the ACR also wish to remind women and their physicians that in those instances in which there is a concern that risk for developing breast cancer is considerably elevated above that of the general population, consultation with appropriate experts in breast cancer genetics or high-risk management is desirable," the authors write.

Several co-authors reported financial relationships with medical equipment manufacturers.

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