UCSF Study Finds No Evidence for Age-Based Mammography Cut-Off

UCSF Radiology recommends annual mammograms to screen for breast cancer beginning at age 40. But at what age should women stop getting the exam? That question was the focus of a study authored by Dr. Cindy Lee, an assistant professor at the University of California San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. The study and its conclusions have caught the attention of the Radiological Society of North America, which is holding its 102nd annual conference this week, and a number of global media outlets, including CNN and Medical News Today.

The study included data from 5.7 million screening mammograms conducted in the United States between 2008 and 2014 in 2.6 millions of women over age 40. The data came from the American College of Radiology National Mammography Database.

The study showed that, based on increasing age, there is a significant upward trend in cancer detection rate and a significant downward trend in recall rate. There is no audit-based evidence for age-based screening cessation. In other words, there is no clear age cut-off for when to stop screening. This study supports guidelines that encourage screening decisions based on individual patient values, co-morbidities and health status.

Learn more about Dr. Lee’s study by reading the RSNA press release, here or watching the video below from RSNA.

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