Start Mammograms at 50

January 15, 2016


The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)—charged with recommending preventive health care services for Americans—has recommend that women ages 50 – 74 get screening mammograms every two years.


But the recommendations will be put on hold for two years under a provision of a recently passed federal spending law.


The new USPSTF screening recommendation differs from breast cancer screening recommendations of other groups, including the American Cancer Society, which recommends annual screening for women in their 40s.


  • With regard to women ages 40 – 49 years of age, the USPSTF panel said the decision to get a screening mammogram should be an individual one. “Women who place a higher value on the potential benefit than the potential harms, may choose to begin screening every two years between the ages of 40 and 49 years,” said the panel.
  • USPSTF said that the current evidence to assess the balance of benefits and harms of mammograms in women age 75 years and older is insufficient.


Click to view USPSTF recommendations.