Breast Cancer—Patient Algorithm

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Should you be screened with mammography for breast cancer?


Are you at high risk?

High risk refers to women who have a personal or family history of breast cancer, the known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, or prior chest wall radiation.

If you are high risk, talk to a doctor about the best screening options for you. This guideline does not apply to women with a high risk of breast cancer.


If you are not at high risk…

Age Recommendation Explanation
40–49 years old We suggest not screening with mammography. The chance of having a false positive is relatively high, but the likelihood of having breast cancer is lower than at older ages.
50–74 years old We suggest scheduling a mammogram every 2–3 years. The chance of getting breast cancer increases. The benefits of screening outweigh the potential harms.
75 years old or older We suggest discussing the benefits and harms of mammography with a health care provider. The benefits of screening may outweigh the potential harms. Your overall health is important in deciding whether to have a mammogram.