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Mammography Guidelines

Komen for the Cure stands by existing recommendations

December 1, 2009

Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force made recommendations that significantly change breast cancer screening approaches, recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75. The USPSTF’s recommendations are not binding but are often consulted by medical professionals and by third-party public and private medical funders. Susan G. Komen for the Cure has issued a statement about our reaction to these recommendations.

Key points to note are as follows:

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40 for women of average risk and earlier for women with known risks for breast cancer. Komen for the Cure’s current screening guidelines can be found at We are constantly evaluating our guidelines and would not change them without serious consideration.
  • Our real focus, however, should be on the fact that one-third of the women who qualify for screening under today's guidelines are not being screened due to lack of access, education or awareness. That issue needs focus and attention: if we can make progress with screening in vulnerable populations, we could make more progress in the fight against breast cancer.
  • Komen for the Cure has funded extensive education, awareness and screening programs. This year alone, Komen for the Cure has funded education/awareness programs reaching more than 3 million women; and has funded programs providing breast screenings to more than 500,000 women and men in under-served populations. This is part of our $900 million investment in community programs since inception.
  • Mammograms aren't perfect but are our best tool for early detection until we can develop more precise screening methods and more accurately predict which women are at risk for breast cancer. Komen for the Cure is funding significant research into developing better screening tools as part of a research portfolio totaling $450 million to date.

For an in depth explanation of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Scientific Advisory Board's Perspective on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendations on Breast Screening, please click here.

To take a stand, sign our petition and help us ensure that all women have access to this life-saving screening. Click here to sign our petition.