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September 1, 1989

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Agreed On by AMA, Other Medically Related Organizations

JAMA. 1989;262(9):1155. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090015004

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THE BREAST CANCER screening guidelines agreed on by the American Medical Association and ten other major organizations, including the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, recommend that women begin having mammograms at age 40 years.

Under the recommended guidelines, the 11 groups agreed that:

Clinical breast examinations and mammography are the best basic early detection methods and both are necessary for maximum detection rates.

Women should begin the screening process by age 40 years and undergo annual clinical examinations and screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years as recommended by their physician on a case-by-case basis.

Women 50 years and older should get both a clinical examination and a screening mammogram annually.

The recommendations apply only to asymptomatic women; the frequency and type of examination for symptomatic women will vary individually and should be determined by the responsible physician.

Also endorsing the guidelines are the American Academy of