According to a new draft recommendation statement, the US Preventive Services Task Force proposes that women with an average risk for breast cancer begin screening at age 40 to reduce their risk of death. It is a change from the 2016 recommendation, in which the task force recommended that biennial mammograms (breast x-rays) begin at age 50 and that the decision for women to screen in their 40s “should be an individual one.”

Some organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have recommended that women begin mammograms in their 40s.

USPSTF Vice Chair Dr. Wanda Nicholson, senior associate dean, and professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, told CNN, “Our new task force recommendation recommends that women begin breast cancer screening with mammography at age 40 and continue screening every other year until age 74.”

The USPSTF, a group of independent medical experts whose recommendations help steer doctors’ decisions and influence insurance plans, proposed an update to its breast cancer screening recommendations on Tuesday, May 9.

The task force announced it would share a draft evidence review and draft modeling report along with the non-final recommendation on their website for public comments until June 5.

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