November 3, 2023

Progress on breast cancer awareness, additional steps needed

Editor's Note

Significant progress has been made in national health efforts to prompt women to look for signs of breast cancer earlier and inform them about their breast cancer risk, but continued efforts are needed, Chief Healthcare Executive October 30 reports. 

Among women younger than 50, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, the article noted. There has been a 7.7% increase in early-onset breast cancer in those diagnosed under the age of 50 from 2010 to 2019.

The US Preventative Services Task Force now recommends that women begin screenings at age 40 and has called attention to higher risks of breast cancer among Black women. A new federal regulation set to be fully implemented next year will require providers to tell patients if they have dense breast tissue, which puts them at greater risk of breast cancer. Half of American women have dense breasts. 

While these developments are positive, physicians say they would like to see screenings recommended every year, recommended to certain high-risk women at age 25, and to increase outreach among more vulnerable populations, especially Black women.


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