White County Health Alert: New Mammogram Guidelines for Women. Start at 40. Doctor Explains

Cover Image: White County Health Alert:  New Mammogram Guidelines for Women. Start at 40. Doctor Explains

In this article, Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine, shares her expert insights of the findings and provides Arkansas residents with evidence-based recommendations for protecting their health.

Why This Matters to You

The USPSTF has strongly recommended that all women begin breast cancer screenings at age 40. Screenings should continue every other year through age 74.

What This Means for Your Health

"This proactive shift in public health strategy is aimed at reducing breast cancer death rates among women." Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine

Doctor's Expert Insights About The New Mammogram USPSTF Guidelines and Women's Health in White County, Arkansas

Know this: "The new guidelines now say that all women should get a mammogram every two years, starting at age 40. This change was made mainly because more women in their 40s are getting breast cancer than before. Also, Black women have a higher chance of dying from breast cancer, when compared to other women. Starting screenings at a younger age could help find breast cancer earlier and improve the chances of survival.

Doctors should talk to their patients about these new guidelines. They should make sure their patients understand why it's important to get screened on time. Also, if you have dense breasts, we now have more available options to improve screening

Many people may not know that having dense breasts can make it harder to see breast cancer on a mammogram." Dr. Puja Uppal, Family Medicine.

Actionable Steps: What You Can Do Next

  • Further steps: Talk to your doctor to find out if you're at high risk for breast cancer. And, if so, you may be eligible for a 3-D mammogram. Early detection is key!

Health News Today: The USPSTF advises that all women start getting breast cancer screenings every other year--starting at age 40.

The new guidelines suggest that getting a mammogram every two years has more benefits and fewer downsides compared to getting one every year.

The Science Made Simple: Key Findings and What They Mean for White County Residents

Breast cancer mortality: Biennial screening mammography in women aged 40 to 74 years has a moderate benefit in reducing breast cancer mortality.

Disparities in breast cancer outcomes: Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer beyond stage I. Also, Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative cancers and are approximately 40% more likely to die of breast cancer compared with White women.

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT): Current evidence suggests that both digital mammography and DBT are effective primary screening modalities. Modeling estimates that the benefits of DBT are similar to digital mammography.

Supplemental screening: There is insufficient evidence to determine the balance of benefits and harms of supplemental screening for breast cancer using breast ultrasonography or MRI in women identified to have dense breasts on an otherwise negative screening mammogram.

Screening in older women: There is insufficient evidence to determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening mammography in women 75 years or older.

Conclusion: The USPSTF recommends biennial screening mammography for women aged 40 to 74 years. More research is needed to address evidence gaps regarding screening in older women, supplemental screening in women with dense breasts, and disparities in breast cancer outcomes, especially in Black women.

Medical News Today: What This Means for Your Health in White County, Arkansas

The Bottom Line: Early detection is key, and every woman should discuss their screening schedule with their healthcare provider to ensure timely and appropriate care.

"This change was driven by two major factors. First, more women in their 40s are getting breast cancer, with rates increasing about 2% each year—which means there is more potential benefit to screening. Second, our modeling was able to use new data on screening in the United States and to look at outcomes specific to Black women for the first time. It is now clear that screening every other year starting at age 40 years has the potential to save about 20% more lives from breast cancer among all women, and there is even greater potential benefit for Black women, who are about 40% more likely to die of breast cancer." USPSTF. (Study Interview)

What They're Saying: "These recommendations apply to cisgender women and all other persons assigned female at birth (including transgender men and nonbinary persons) 40 years or older at average risk of breast cancer. This is because the net benefit estimates are driven by sex (ie, female) rather than gender identity, although the studies reviewed for this recommendation generally used the term “women.” These recommendations apply to persons who have factors associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, such as a family history of breast cancer (ie, a first-degree relative with breast cancer) or having dense breasts. They do not apply to persons who have a genetic marker or syndrome associated with a high risk of breast cancer (eg, BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic variation), a history of high-dose radiation therapy to the chest at a young age, or previous breast cancer or a high-risk breast lesion on previous biopsies. Of note, the USPSTF has a separate recommendation on risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing for BRCA-related cancer,8 and family history is a common feature of risk assessment tools that help determine likelihood of BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic variation." (Study Source)

Read More Rising Breast Cancer Rates in Young Women Under 50. Doctor Explains

Health Standard Newswire: The USPSTF advises that all women start getting breast cancer screenings every other year-- starting at age 40.

Health Facts That Matter: Key Statistics for White County, Arkansas

The following health facts impact your physical health directly!

Did you know there were 6516 deaths from cancer in Arkansas in 2021?

21.8% of you in White County are smokers.

64.1% of you in White County have had a mammogram in the past year.

38.1% of you in White County are binge drinkers.

All of these variables above play an important role in the outcomes of your overall health.

The Health Standard Newswire.