New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

Breast cancer is the most common and widely occurring type of cancer among women that forms in tissues of the breast, usually in the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple) and lobules (glands that make milk). It can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is important as it may prevent the condition from becoming critical and ensure a successful curable treatment. The diagnosis of breast cancer is done through breast cancer screening methods such as mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and others. Screening examinations are tests performed for early diagnosis of the disease. The foremost goal of screening is to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stage. The screening procedure identifies the early signs of cancer, even before the symptoms begin to show.

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Early detection of breast cancer can lead to desired outcomes, including increased survival rate, number of treatment options, and improved quality of life. And the rising incidence of breast cancer is helping the market to grow in the forecast period. As per the Breastcancer.org, about one in eight US women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are anticipated to be diagnosed in women only in the United States, along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Breast cancer screening is carried out to detect cancer in its early stages and ensure timely treatment to the patients. There are different types of breast cancer depending on the type of breast cell that becomes cancerous. Breast cancer can affect different parts of the breast, such as the ducts and the lobes.

Mammograms are the most widely used tests to screen breast cancer. Since mammography is the gold standard technique used to screen breast cancer, governments and other healthcare organizations around the world are taking initiatives to provide women, between the ages of 50 and 75, access to mammography screening. This is increasing the global demand for mammography while laboratory and blood tests and other imaging tests are gaining popularity. Digital breast tomosynthesis can increase the diagnostic accuracy of mammography and is used for the assessment of equivocal or suspicious mammography findings. Other modalities, such as ultrasound and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) play an important role in the diagnostics, staging, and follow-up of breast cancer.

New Guideline Recommendations

All women, especially African American women, should be evaluated for breast cancer risk no later than age 30,

so that those at higher risk can be identified and benefit from supplemental screening.

All women who are not at risk should begin annual breast cancer screenings starting at age 40.

Breast MRI is recommended for women with personal histories of breast cancer and dense tissue or those

diagnosed by age 50.

Women who have undergone radiation therapy to the chest should begin screenings starting at age 25 or 8 yrs after radiation therapy, whichever is later.

Women with genetics-based increased risk or a calculated lifetime risk of 20% or more should begin annual screenings at age 30.

Source: wakerad & the Insight partners