US Pharm. 2016;41(9):HS-12.

Depending on breast density and risk, women between the ages of 50 and 74 years may benefit from more or less frequent mammography screening, say experts from the American College of Physicians.

For average-risk women with lower breast density, which comprises a large percentage of the population, triennial screening is cost-effective and offers about the same or better balance of benefits and harms as biennial. Women in higher-risk categories with dense breasts may fare better with yearly screening. The findings from a collaborative modeling study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Currently accepted clinical guidelines recommend biennial mammography screening for women aged 50 to 74 years. These guidelines also advocate shared decision making regarding screening frequency that takes into consideration an individual woman’s preferences, risk level, and breast density. However, limited data are available to guide clinicians and women in making these choices.