Breast Cancer Screening Should Start at Age 40 – 10 Years Earlier Than Previous Advice, Group Says

About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in the course of their life. While the new draft guidelines lower the age for mammograms, outside experts are worried they don't go far enough.

Women should be screened for breast cancer every other year starting at age 40 instead of 50, according to draft guidelines released Tuesday by the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the independent national body of experts that sets standards for tests and screenings.

The previous recommendations, last updated in 2016, said women younger than 50 who are concerned could discuss screening with their doctors. Now, the task force says screening at 40 could save 19% more lives.

Experts say the guidelines are a leap in the right direction but should go further to advise women to be screened annually. Several other leading groups have long recommended yearly mammograms starting at age 40.

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