40 Is the New 50 for Starting Mammograms, Says USPSTF

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At Bedford Breast Center, we believe in empowering you through education about the latest breast health guidelines. The recent update to mammogram screening recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is a significant development, and we want to make sure you understand what these changes mean for your preventive care.

USPSTF Lowers Mammogram Age to 40

The USPSTF recently updated its breast cancer screening guidelines, lowering the recommended age to begin mammograms from 50 to 40 years old. While we at Bedford Breast Center have always recommended patients start annual breast cancer screening at age 40, this change at the national level aims to improve early detection and reduce mortality rates from breast cancer.

New Guidelines Promote Earlier, More Frequent Screening

Under the new USPSTF recommendations, women at average risk of breast cancer should:

  • Begin biennial (every other year) mammogram screenings at age 40.
  • Continue biennial screenings until age 74.

The USPSTF previously recommended that women in their 40s make an individual decision with their doctor on when they should start screening, considering their health history, preferences, and other factors. The updated advice is based on an extensive review of studies on breast cancer screening, diagnoses, and mortality data in the U.S.

For women at higher risk, such as those with genetic mutations or a strong family history of breast cancer, the guidelines recommend a personalized screening plan in consultation with their doctor. These higher-risk patients may need to start mammograms earlier than 40 and undergo additional screening with MRI or ultrasound.

This blog post discusses breast changes commonly experienced by women in their 40s.

Why the Change Matters

The task force found that starting biennial mammograms at 40 could further reduce breast cancer deaths. Recent data also shows a 2% annual increase in breast cancer diagnoses among women in their 40s, underscoring the importance of earlier screening.

Increased Demand for Mammograms

With women now recommended to start screening earlier and more frequently, mammography providers are experiencing greater demand for appointments. Bedford Breast Center is taking proactive steps to increase access and availability.

How Bedford Breast Center Is Meeting the Need

At Bedford Breast Center, we recognize the vital importance of convenient, timely mammogram access. We’re taking the following steps to accommodate increased needs:

  • Offering extended hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays for mammograms
  • Providing significantly shorter wait times than other local mammography providers
  • Offering work-in appointments to promptly address urgent breast issues or concerns
  • Expanding capacity by adding an additional mammography machine later this year

Learn more about the advantages of choosing Bedford Breast Center in this related blog post.

Advanced 3D Mammography in Beverly Hills

Bedford Breast Center is proud to offer 3D mammography for women in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. This advanced screening technology provides better imaging than traditional 2D mammograms.

3D mammograms capture multiple X-ray images from different angles around the breast. These images are then combined using high-powered computing to create a 3D reconstruction.

The benefits of 3D mammography vs. 2D mammography include:

  • Greater accuracy in detecting breast abnormalities
  • Better imaging of dense breast tissue
  • Fewer call-backs for additional imaging
  • Less compression and radiation exposure

This blog post provides further information about 3D and 2D mammography and the differences between these technologies.

Your Trusted Source for Comprehensive Breast Care

At Bedford Breast Center, we offer a full spectrum of breast health services, from screening mammograms to cancer treatment. Our caring, expert team guides you through every step.

Whether you’re due for routine screening under the new guidelines, have concerns about a lump or other changes in your breasts, or need a diagnostic consultation, we’re here for you. Call us at (310) 278-8590 or contact us using the online form to schedule an appointment.

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