Making Sense of Varying Mammography Guidelines
The month of October may be “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” but at UCLA Health every month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we want to remind women to get their mammogram.
It also may have women asking, “How often should I have a mammogram?” Their uncertainty is understandable because the key organizations that publish guidelines — American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Imaging and United States Preventative Services Task Force — all vary in their recommendations. These differing opinions have led to confusion not only among women but also among their physicians.
Despite the different recommendations, all organizations agree that yearly screening mammograms save the most lives. However, the organizations disagree on how much emphasis to put on the potential harm from mammography. Possible harm includes:
• Anxiety associated with false-positive (false alarm) results;
• Unnecessary breast biopsies;
• Concerns about radiation; and
• Over-diagnosis of breast cancer
Both the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging feel that saving the most lives is paramount and hence recommend yearly screening mammography beginning at age 40. The cancer society suggests that women hear about mammography’s benefits and possible harms, then decide when they would like to begin yearly mammograms, age 40 or 45, and whether they will continue with yearly screenings after age 54 or transition to biannual screenings.
At UCLA Health, we believe that “every month is breast-cancer awareness month.” I encourage you to discuss with your physician and close family members the benefits and risks of yearly mammograms to help guide you in making the best-informed decision for your health.
Dr. Anne Hoyt is section chief and medical director of Breast Imaging at UCLA Health. For more information about UCLA’s breast-imaging services in Santa Clarita, call 661-253-5858 or visit the website www.radiology.ucla.edu.
ADVERTISE WITH US
Where do I even begin? Over the years, the Santa Clarita Valley has become our home, it is where we raised our son, Alexander, where we gained success in our business and built a strong circle of friends and support. This is the same for so many families here in this...
For the past 30 years, Prime Publications Incorporated, publishers of Santa Clarita Magazine and SCV élite Magazine have been at the helm of media and marketing, utilizing their platform to keep our valley’s small businesses, non-profits, achievements and developments...
On our cover this month, we are thrilled to feature Santa Claus, along with Corrine Barchanowicz, Senior General Manager at Westfield Valencia Town Center and her adorable daughter Arabella who stole all of our hearts with her very cute smile. You will find...
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
Santa Clarita Magazine has set a high standard for excellence in advertising for over 29 years. A family owned and operated business, Santa Clarita Magazine has grown with the Santa Clarita Valley since 1990 and become the #1 place to advertise locally.