Current screening recommendations by the American Cancer Society include:
Annual mammograms beginning at age 40. In certain high-risk patients, such as those with a strong family history or known genetic pattern, earlier screening may be recommended.
Annual physical exam by a doctor for women over forty and every 2 to 3 years for women in their 20’s and 30’s.
Mammography is the only screening exam that has been proven by clinical trials to significantly impact breast cancer survival statistics. This is solely a result of earlier detection than would otherwise be possible. Other imaging modalities, including ultrasound and MRI, are very important, supplemental tools in “problem-solving”, but are currently not recommended for screening in the general population.