What is the breast cancer screening guidance in Canada?

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What is the breast cancer screening guidance in Canada?

Image of women with the text "Empowering women to make informed choices about their health"

Are you a clinician wondering what the guidance is for breast cancer screening in Canada after the recent US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft update?

Update underway

We have expedited the scheduled review of the 2018 breast cancer screening recommendations, with a draft expected spring 2024.

Current Guidance

The current Canadian guideline emphasizes shared decision-making when it comes to breast cancer screening. We recommend that:

  • Women aged 40-49 (and aged 50-74) who want to be screened for breast cancer should talk to their doctor or other health care professional.
  • This conversation should consider the pros and cons of screening, as well as their personal values and preferences.
  • If a woman wants a mammogram after this discussion, she should have a mammogram.
  • We believe in empowering women to make informed decisions about their health. This is the fundamental foundation of shared decision-making.

Read the new FAQ document

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These recommendations:

  • Apply to average risk women
  • Do not apply to women with family history, genetic markers or signs or symptoms

What is shared decision-making?

  • Patients and clinicians openly talk about the benefits and harms of mammography screening, and make decisions based on patient preferences and values.  
  • The clinician’s role is to describe the options and support the patient to make a decision.

Tools to help with shared decision-making:


What is screening?

To share or not to share When is shared decision making the best option?

Shared decision-making and 1000 person tools

Related reading

Conversations are critical when it comes to breast cancer screening

Systematic review on values and preferences

New US breast cancer recommendation sparks discussion

Task Force Expedites Update to 2018 Breast Cancer Guideline