|22 February 2024
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Issues New Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations
18 May 2023
On May 9, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a draft recommendation on breast cancer screening and now recommends that all women get screened for breast cancer every other year starting at age 40.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Breast cancer disparities exist in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes with minoritized populations bearing a disproportionate burden of breast cancer. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at later stages than other racial groups and are more likely to be diagnosed with triple-negative cancer which are more aggressive. Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than White women and often get deadly cancers at younger ages.
Timely and effective treatment for breast cancer has the potential to save more lives for people experiencing disparities related to racism, lack of access to care in rural locations and low income. According to the Task Force, this change in breast cancer screening recommendations could result in 19 percent more lives being saved.
“Ensuring Black women start screening at age 40 is an important first step, yet it is not enough to improve the health inequities we face related to breast cancer,” says Task Force vice chair Wanda Nicholson, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “In our draft recommendation, we underscore the importance of equitable followup after screening and timely and effective treatment of breast cancer and are urgently calling for more research on how to improve the health of Black women.”
Learn more about the Task Force’s new breast cancer screening recommendations here.
National Minority Quality Forum is a research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring that high-risk racial and ethnic populations and communities receive optimal health care. This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization integrates data and expertise in support of initiatives to eliminate health disparities.