Breast Cancer Screening: New Recommendations for Age and Frequency

Breast cancer is a significant concern affecting millions of women worldwide. Regular screening allows for identifying abnormalities or potential tumors when they are small and more treatable. Mammograms are widely recognized as the gold standard for breast cancer screening. Early detection through mammogram screenings is crucial in improving outcomes and saving lives. However, as medical research and clinical understanding evolve, so do the recommendations for mammogram screenings. This article explores the latest recommendations for mammogram screening that are helping women make informed decisions about their breast health.

Breast Cancer Screening: New Recommendations for Age and Frequency

In April 2024, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated its recommendations regarding breast cancer screening.1 The most notable recommendation established by the Task Force urges, “All women get screened for breast cancer every other year, starting at age 40 and continuing through age 74, to reduce their risk of dying from this disease.” This differs from the USPSTF’s previous recommendation, which encouraged women at age 50 to make individualized decisions about the start and frequency of their screening schedule, based on their health history and preference. 

While 40 may seem early to begin screening, an estimated one in six breast cancers occur in women in their 40s. Likewise, mammograms have been shown to reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by nearly 40% over the past three decades.2

The latest recommendations from other medical organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), provide slightly different guidelines on when to start mammogram screenings – however, the consensus is to begin screening at a younger age. The ACS recommends annual screenings for women aged 45 to 54, after which they can switch to biennial screenings or continue with annual screenings.3 Likewise, the NCCN recommends annual screenings for women aged 40 and older.4

It’s important to note that these recommendations are for average-risk women. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer, such as those with family history or certain genetic predictors, may need to start screening earlier and undergo additional testing. Your healthcare provider can help assess individual risk factors and make personalized recommendations. 

Comprehensive and Cutting-Edge Mammogram Services at Great Falls Clinic 

Even though USPSTF’s recommendations for mammograms recently changed from age 50 to 40, the Great Falls Clinic Mammography department has already been actively following the ACR guidelines by beginning annual mammograms at age 40. By staying informed and proactive, women can take charge of their breast health and increase the chances of detecting breast cancer in its early stages. 

Great Falls Clinic offers state-of-the-art mammogram screenings that utilize advanced imaging technology to detect breast abnormalities. Our mammogram services are performed by experienced radiologists and technologists who are highly specialized in breast imaging. Our full-field digital mammography provides high-resolution images, allowing for accurate and detailed examinations, which are critical for early detection. 

When choosing Great Falls Clinic for mammogram screenings, individuals can benefit from the expertise and dedication of their healthcare team. Our team understands that undergoing a mammogram can be a sensitive experience. From the moment the patient walks through the door until their follow-up consultations, our clinic’s team prioritizes patient comfort, privacy, and emotional well-being. We strive to empower women to take charge of their breast health and make informed decisions about their well-being. 

By adhering to industry standards and staying abreast of the latest advancements, the Great Falls Clinic is committed to guiding patients through the necessary support with comprehensive follow-up services, including further diagnostic testing, consultations with specialists, and personalized treatment plans. 


Ready to schedule a consultation? We look forward to serving you.

Your clinical provider may send an order for your mammogram to the Radiology fax number 406-268-3810. If your provider has already sent an order and you have not received a call, you may call 406-454-7320 (option 1) to schedule your appointment.

We are currently available to schedule a screening mammogram within one week and a diagnostic mammogram within two weeks. Breast biopsies have availability to be completed within the month.



  1. Recommendation: Breast Cancer: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
  2. Mammography Saves Lives. American College of Radiology.
  3. Breast Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis. American Cancer Society.
  4. NCCN Guidelines for Patients: Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis. National Comprehensive Cancer Network.