Screening women aged 40-49 years
Recent recommendations have reignited the debate about mammographic screening in women below age 50 years. Evidence from randomised controlled trials and results from service screening in some countries show a benefit of screening women below age 50 with a screening interval of up to two years. The benefit of such screening in terms of mortality reduction will be lower than that in older women, whilst potential harms include false positive screens and resulting anxiety, risk of overdiagnosis and possible radiation risk. The balance of benefits to possible harms, and the perception of this balance will vary both according to individual priorities and risk. Minimising harms and identifying those women who will benefit most from screening should remain a priority.
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