|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 31, 2002
NCI Press Office
NCI Statement on Mammography Screening
- Women in their 40s should be screened every one to two years with mammography.
- Women aged 50 and older should be screened every one to two years.
- Women who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and the frequency of screening.
At the same time, NCI is determined to continue to address the uncertainties in the analysis of complex information surrounding screening mammograms. One of its highest priorities will be the monitoring and evaluation of new data on mammography from numerous studies now underway which will supplement the data from clinical trials.
Most important, NCI is strongly committed to further research on early detection of breast cancer. "It is absolutely essential to look beyond the debate over the limitations of current data and to accelerate the development of better screening tools," said NCI director Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D. "While we will continue to be vigilant in reviewing data on mammography, we must emphasize research to develop more effective screening tools and strategies that hold promise for improved detection of breast cancer and, ultimately, for saving lives."
For more information about cancer, visit NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov.
*Olsen, O. and Gotzsche, P. (2001). Cochrane review on screening for breast cancer with mammography. The Lancet, 358, 1340-1342.