Women aged 40-49 years should not undergo routine mammography screening for breast cancer, according to new guidelines issued by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. The new guidelines were issued as the risks of harm from screening mammograms in this age-group outweigh the benefits. It also recommends that the screening interval for women between 50-74 years should be extended from every 2-years to every 2-3 years.
The Task Force also recommends that women should not carry out clinical breast exams and breast self-examinations if they have no symptoms pointing to breast cancer. It also recommends against MRI's for women of average risk.
The guideline says that a better balance is required between the harms and costs of over-diagnosis, over-treatment and false positive results and the outcomes of breast cancer screening with regard to tumor detection and mortality.
The revised guidelines were published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).