Women with a Family History of Breast Cancer May Not Need to Initiate Screening Mammography 10 Years Earlier than the Age at which Their Relative Was Diagnosed
New BCSC study shows that the standard 10-year recommendation for initiating screening mammography may not be appropriate for all women with a family history of breast cancer
Women with a family history of breast cancer are sometimes advised to initiate screening mammography when they are 10 years younger than the age at which their relative was diagnosed. However, evidence to support how much earlier these women should begin screening is lacking. A study published in Cancer suggests that a standard 10-year recommendation may not be appropriate for all women with a family history of breast cancer. The study used Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium data and included 306,147 women aged 30-59 years who underwent screening mammography from 1996-2016 to compare 5-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer among women with and without a family history of breast cancer by screening initiation age and by relative’s age at breast cancer diagnosis. Women reporting a relative diagnosed between 40 and 49 years and undergoing screening between ages 30 and 39 or 40 and 49 had similar 5-year cumulative incidences of breast cancer as women who reported no family history of breast cancer. Among women whose relative was diagnosed between 35 to 45 years of age, initiating screening 5–8 years before diagnosis age resulted in a 5-year cumulative incidence of breast cancer similar to that of an average risk 50-year-old woman. Women with a relative diagnosed before 45 may wish to consider, in consultation with their physician, initiating screening 5 to 8 years earlier than their relative’s diagnosis age. Future studies may wish to assess the impact of other aspects of personal risk factors.
Durham DD, Abraham LA, Roberts MC, Khan CP, Smith RA, Kerlikowske K, Miglioretti DL. Breast cancer incidence among women with a family history of breast cancer by relative's age at diagnosis. Cancer. 2022 Oct 19. Epub ahead of print. [Link]
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Posted by: Danielle Durham