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Breast Cancer Screening: Average Risk

The following breast cancer screening guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer. They also are for women who do not have any breast cancer symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should see your health care provider as soon as possible.

Women at average risk of breast cancer are those who have:

  • No history of radiation treatment to the chest
  • No genetic mutations, including an abnormality in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, CDH1, Cowden's Syndrome or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome
  • No history of lobular carcinoma in situ
  • A five-year risk of breast cancer less than 1.7% for women age 35 or older, as defined by a Gail Model calculation. Calculate your risk using the Gail Model
  • A life-time risk of breast cancer less than 20%, as defined by models dependent on family history. Women with a strong family history should consider speaking with a genetic counselor to learn more about these models and have their risk determined.

If you fit this description, you should follow one of the screening schedules below.

Age 20 to 39, you should:

Age 40 and older, you should:

These screening guidelines apply to women who are expected to live for at least another 10 years. The guidelines are not for women who have a health condition that would make it hard for a health care provider to diagnose or treat breast cancer.


© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center