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breast cancer, screening for breast cancer, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging


Early detection of breast cancer is desirable to prevent progression to advanced disease. This subject has been one of significant study and debate for women at normal risk, and recommendations continue to evolve. However, with regard to women at high risk, the recommendations from various health care professional organizations, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, are different and also inconsistent concerning when to begin screening and which modalities should be used. We review several randomized controlled trials and consensus opinions regarding when to begin screening for breast cancer and how to best screen women at high risk. Specifically, we address women with known personal history of breast cancer, prior mantle radiation or specific family history (including genetic family history) of breast cancer. The purpose of this inquiry is to present current evidence and suggest a clinical pathway regarding the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer.