Should all women stop breast cancer screening at 74 years of age? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Women should undergo screening for breast cancer using mammography every two years from age 40 until 74, the most recent United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations state. Yet now that life expectancies are increasing, should all women observe the guideline? William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says maybe.

Nelson: Well unfortunately I think it's complicated, it's one of these things where you have to consider all you're doing in the context of what the current state is. So what are the other illnesses and conditions, basically have to inventory the health and then start to think about what kinds of things you can do to promote a healthy existence for as long as you can. And that may or may not include breast cancer screening. I think it has to be something that is more thought through than a single recommendation from the US preventive services task force. If you're going to screen what are you going to do if you find an abnormality.     :31 

Nelson says research is ongoing on treatment of breast cancer in older women. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.