UW Breast Imaging Radiologists Comment on New Screening Guidelines

Dr. Janie Lee and Dr. Christoph Lee

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently updated their recommendations for breast cancer screening, lowering the initial screening age from 50 to 40 years. 

UW Radiology Professor Christoph Lee, MD, MS, MBA, has co-authored an editorial published in JAMA alongside the guidelines titled, Toward More Equitable Breast Cancer Outcomes.

Professor Janie Lee, MD, MSc, Section Chief of Breast Imaging and Director of Breast Imaging at Fred Hutchison Cancer Center, discussed the new guidelines with NPR’s Science Friday team and other media outlets such as KUOW. Lee says she is optimistic about these recommendations, not only because increased consensus will reduce confusion among women regarding when to start screening, but also because, “the scientific evidence is clear that mammography saves lives.” 

She states that the new guidelines recommend mammograms every other year starting at age 40 because breast cancer diagnoses in younger women have, “increased substantially.” In addition, reports have shown that Black women are more likely to develop aggressive breast tumors and be diagnosed at later stages, leading to higher death rates. “These new recommendations supporting earlier screening will hopefully enable more women to be diagnosed with earlier breast cancers and avoid deaths from breast cancer,” she said.

Additional media coverage can be found on STAT News and Hutch News Stories.




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