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In 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised its guidelines concerning analog screening mammography [1]. Recently, Laurie Margolies has written a comprehensive critique of the USPSTF recommendation [2]. Despite the breast cancer death rate falling by 30% since 1990 and mammography receiving the major share of the credit for the decrease, the USPSTF no longer advises routine screening mammography for women between the ages of 40 and 49 years. It does advise biennial screening for those aged 50–74 years but does not make a recommendation regarding screening for those aged ≥ 75 years. The recommendations do not cover digital mammography. Primary-care providers need to understand the data so they can assist patients making decisions about breast cancer screening.


  • Farook Al-Azzawi
    Gynaecology Research Unit, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK


  1. US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for breast cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med 2009;151:716-26.
  2. Margolies L. Mammographic screening for breast cancer: 2010. Mount Sinai J Med 2010;77:398-404.
  3. American Cancer Society. Guidelines for the early detection of cancer.
  4. Miller A, To T, Baines C, Wall C. The Canadian National Breast Screening Study. 1. Breast cancer mortality after 11 to 16 years of follow-up. A randomized screening trial of mammography in women age 40 to 49 years. Ann Intern Med 2002;137:305-12.
  5. Bjurstam N, Bjorneld L, Warwick J, et al. The Gothenburg Breast Screening Trial. Cancer 2003;97:2387-96.
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