Document Type


Associated Faculty

Dr. Valerie Herbert

Sponsoring Academic Department

School of Nursing

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

The current recommendation for mammography frequency is every 2 years after age 50. However, newer data shows that yearly mammograms are effective in early detection of breast cancer, even before age 50. These authors posed the question: In women under age 50, is a yearly mammogram more effective than a mammogram every 3 years in detecting breast cancer? A literature search was conducted on CINAHL, MEDLINE, Google Scholar and Cochrane Library using the following terms: mammography, mammogram, annual, yearly, every three years, triennial, and breast cancer. A total of 10 articles met the inclusion criteria. The results of the literature review were mixed. The literature review found that annual screenings before age 50 had positive effects such as finding cancer in earlier stages and significantly reducing the risk of cancer associated death in the long-term. However, some comprehensive studies concluded that the harm of annual radiation exposure and false-positives outweigh the benefits. Limitations of this review include lack of research in the specific yearly time frame and lack of research in the specific age range. Based on these findings, it is advisable for women under 50 to discuss with their provider whether to get a yearly mammogram rather than every 3 years, even if they have average risk for breast cancer.


pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)