iHeard iHeard Alert

New Mammogram Guideline: Few St. Louisans are aware of Lowered Age Limit to 40

It’s been one month since a new recommendation was announced to lower the starting age for mammograms from 50 to 40 years, but awareness of the guideline remains low in St. Louis. Only 19% of St. Louis adults surveyed heard last week about the new recommendation, a 39% decline from when we first asked about the guideline four weeks ago. Surprisingly, women ages 40-49, who are most affected by the recommendation, are less likely to have heard it compared to people older than 60 (25% vs 54%).

On May 9, 2023, after considering scientific evidence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended lowering the screening age for breast cancer to 40 years for women with average risk of breast cancer. The rate of breast cancer among women 40-49 increased by 2% per year, on average, from 2015 to 2019 (NIH). This new guideline provides an opportunity for early detection of breast cancer.

According to Dr. Debbie Bennett, Chief of the Section of Breast Imaging at Washington University and a radiologist at Siteman Cancer Center, “We know that a lot of women in their 40s are diagnosed with breast cancer. And we also know that if you find breast cancer as early as possible, that gives women the best chance of having it treated and cured.”

It is important to raise awareness of this new recommendation in the St. Louis community to help reduce death rates from breast cancer and improve health outcomes.

This week’s report is based on 147 responses from a panel of adult residents of St. Louis City and County surveyed from Saturday, June 17, to Monday, June 19, 2023. Explore these data and more at iHeardSTL.

Visit iHeardSTL.org to learn more

Download the infographics below to share about this topic on social media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *