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Breast Cancer Screening

Know Your Risk Factors

The follow is Adapted from U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendations and Guidelines from the NCCN Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis Guidelines 1.2014

Average Risk

  • 25-40 years old: Clinical breast exam every 1-3 years and breast awareness.
  • 40-50 years old: Annual clinical breast exam. Breast awareness. Consider Screening Mammogram every 1-2 years once benefits and potential harms discussed with internist.
  • 50 years old and over: Annual clinical breast exam. Breast awareness. Screening Mammogram every 1-2 years.

Intermediate or High Risk

Risk factors include:

  • Personal history of breast cancer
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • 5-year risk of invasive breast cancer ≥1.7% in women ≥35 years old (as calculated by the Gail Model)
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Atypical hyperplasia
  • BRCA gene mutations
  • Radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30 years old.


Clinical breast exam every 6-12 months. Breast awareness. Annual screening mammogram staggered with an annual breast MRI starting at age 30, or 10 years before the age of first-degree relative with breast cancer, or 8 years after radiation but not before age 25.

*Screening recommendations for women with higher than average risk is evolving. Individual risk should be discussed with your internist. If your risk is unclear, an internist may refer you to a breast cancer specialist (surgeon or oncologist) for further evaluation*

Patient Stories

  • Breast Cancer Survivor

    Cara Scharf majored in English in college, so she's always been good with words. But right after graduation, she discovered she would have to deal with four letters: BRCA. Cara was just 22 when she tested found out she was BRCA 1+ positive. It wasn't a complete surprise—her mother died of breast cancer when Cara was three, and her grandmother died of ovarian cancer. But Cara says she had never really thought about getting cancer ...