Significant scientific evidence supports recommendations to start annual mammograms at age 40. This approach saves more lives than delayed or less frequent screening. We hope that you find this information useful.


    According to National Cancer Institute data, since mammography screening became widespread in the 1980s, the U.S. breast cancer death rate, unchanged for the previous 50 years, has dropped nearly 40 percent. 
  •    A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention shows mammography screening cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half. 
  •    Perhaps the largest (Hellquist et al) and longest running (Tabar et al) breast cancer screening studies in history, re-confirmed that regular screening cut breast cancer deaths by roughly a third in all women ages 40 and over (including women ages 40-49). 
  •    A study in Cancer showed that more than 70 percent of women who died from breast cancer in their 40's at major Harvard teaching hospitals were among the 20 percent of women not being screened. 
  •    A study in the British Medical Journal shows that early detection of breast cancer – as with mammography – significantly improves breast cancer survival. 
  •    An analysis in the American Journal of Roentgenology, showed that if USPSTF breast cancer screening guidelines were followed, approximately 6,500 additional women each year in the U.S. would die from breast cancer. 



Start @ 40


Reduction in breast cancer mortality from organized service screening with mammography: Further confirmation with extended data.


The mammographic screening trials: commentary on the recent work by Olsen and Goetzsche.


Breast Cancer. Computer Simulation Method for Estimating Optimal Intervals for Screening.



Mammography Harms


JAMA - Consequences of False-Positive Screening Mammograms - Anxiety from false-positives is short-term with no lasting effects.


JAMA - Enthusiasm for Cancer Screening in the United States – Nearly all women who have a false-positive exam still endorse regular screening and want to know their status.


The Oncologist – Arguments Against Mammography Screening Continue to be Based on Faulty Science



Concerns Related to Commonly Reported Studies


US Preventive Services Task Force Guidelines Are Not Supported by the Scientific Evidence and Should Be Rescinded.


Informed decision making: age 50 is arbitrary and has no demonstrated influence on breast cancer screening in women.


Bias in the Medical Journals: A Commentary.


Canadian National Breast Screening Study: Assessment of Technical Quality by External Review.


    World Health Organization excluded the CNBSS from its analyses of screening impact of breast cancer mortality.
  •    American Cancer Society expressed methodological/technological concerns about CNBSS.
  •    Breast cancer groups, such as, criticize CNBSS.





Mammography Screening References