Timing should take into account a woman’s health profile, not just age, researchers say.
The timing and frequency of mammography to detect breast cancer is a decision best customized for each woman, based on such factors as age and breast density, new research suggests.
One schedule for all women based on age alone is not the best approach, said study lead author Dr. John Schousboe, medical director of research at Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis and adjunct professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota.
“It is appropriate for women when deciding how often to get a mammogram to make that decision based on how high their risk is,” Schousboe said.
Factors to consider, in addition to age, are the woman’s breast density, history of breast biopsy, family history of breast cancer and her beliefs about the potential benefits and risks of screening, Schousboe said. Denser breasts are believed to convey a higher risk of breast cancer.