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Change in Breast Cancer Screening Intervals Since the 2009 USPSTF Guideline



In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended biennial mammography for women aged 50-74 years and shared decision-making for women aged 40-49 years for breast cancer screening. We evaluated changes in mammography screening interval after the 2009 recommendations.


We conducted a prospective cohort study of women aged 40-74 years who received 821,052 screening mammograms between 2006 and 2012 using data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. We compared changes in screening intervals and stratified intervals based on whether the mammogram at the end of the interval occurred before or after the 2009 recommendation. Differences in mean interval length by woman-level characteristics were compared using linear regression.


The mean interval (in months) minimally decreased after the 2009 USPSTF recommendations. Among women aged 40-49 years, the mean interval decreased from 17.2 months to 17.1 months (difference -0.16%, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.30 to -0.01). Similar small reductions were seen for most age groups. The largest change in interval length in the post-USPSTF period was declines among women with a first-degree family history of breast cancer (difference -0.68%, 95% CI -0.82 to -0.54) or a 5-year breast cancer risk ≥2.5% (difference -0.58%, 95% CI -0.73 to -0.44).


The 2009 USPSTF recommendation did not lengthen the average mammography interval among women routinely participating in mammography screening. Future studies should evaluate whether breast cancer screening intervals lengthen toward biennial intervals following new national 2016 breast cancer screening recommendations, particularly among women less than 50 years of age.

To read more, see the following article on the PubMed website: PMID: 28177856