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ACOG: Shared Decision-Making Key to Breast Cancer Screening

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 -- Shared decision-making is being emphasized in new American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) mammography screening guidelines for women at average risk of breast cancer.

ACOG recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer be offered screening mammography beginning at age 40. The decision about whether to start at that age, however, should be made by a woman and her doctor. The discussion should include information about benefits and harms.

If a woman doesn't start screening in her 40s, she should begin no later than age 50, the guidelines state. Repeat screening every one or two years is recommended, based on more discussion. Those at average risk should continue screening until at least age 75. After 75, the decision, again, should be based on a discussion with the doctor and include information about the woman's health status and expected longevity.

"What is critically important is that the patient's value and preferences are factored into that decision-making process," Christopher Zahn, M.D., ACOG's vice president of practice activities, told HealthDay.

Practice Bulletin

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Posted: June 2017