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According to the American health prevention services, screening for breast cancer should start at age 40 and not at age 50, as is the case today, because of the progression of this cancer in young women.

The number of women under 40 with breast cancer has risen sharply in recent years. However, the dbreast cancer screening generally concerns women only from the age of 50. This is the case in France, where organized screening is covered by National Health Insurance for women aged 50 to 74, but also in the United States, where health prevention services have until now recommended screening every two years from the age of 50.

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But these same American prevention services have just updated their recommendations, proposing that all women at average risk of breast cancer begin screening from the age of 40, to reduce mortality linked to this disease.

“Our new task force recommendation recommends that women begin screening for breast cancer with mammography at age 40 and screen every two years until age 74.” Dr. Wanda Nicholson, vice president of the USPSTF, a group of independent medical experts whose recommendations help guide doctors’ decisions and influence insurance plans.

This new recommendation should “save more lives among all women,” Nicholson said. “And this is especially important for black women, who are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer.”

More aggressive cancers in young women

In young women, breast cancer is more aggressive and presents with larger tumors and faster growth. In addition, the absence of regular radiological screening at this age (remember that the organized screening campaign only concerns women aged 50 to 74) does not allow a sufficiently early diagnosis to be established. Thus, the size of the lesions is generally greater than 2 or 3 cm and almost a third of the patients (32.6%) must undergo a mastectomy.

The increase in the number of breast cancers in young women is explained in particular by the increasingly late age of first pregnancies, but also by the diet of Western countries and the lack of physical activity, risk factors important. Figures from the French Society of Senology and Breast Pathology (SFSP) also report that 45% of women under 40 have a family history of breast cancer.

Screening earlier to reduce mortality is also one of the recommendations of the European Commission, which would like, for its part, that screening for breast cancer starts at age 45.

How about getting tested? Find out here how a mammogram is performed

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