Troubling stats on upstate NY women who ignore breast cancer screening guidelines

All women ages 50 to 74 should be screened for breast cancer every two years according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, but nearly one in five upstate New York women ignores that recommendation according to a new report from Univera Healthcare.

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“The evidence is clear that early detection saves lives,” said Richard Vienne, D.O., Univera Healthcare vice president and chief medical officer. “Since all health insurers cover breast cancer screenings in full every one to two years for women over age 40, it’s disappointing to not see even higher numbers.”

This year in upstate New York, 3,800 women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer and the disease will cause more than 600 deaths. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death for women in New York State.

“A woman’s risk factors determine when she should begin getting screened,” said Vienne.

  • Women at average risk should have the conversation with their doctor at age 40 about when to start screening.
  • Women at high risk or with a family history of breast cancer should talk to their doctor about the right age and frequency of screening.
  • All women ages 50-74 should be screened for breast cancer every 2 years.

Many hospitals and clinics offer extended hours for mammography screenings, so appointments can fit most every schedule.

Vienne advises learning more about breast cancer risk factors and screenings by talking to your doctor, or by visiting the U.S. preventative Service Task Force website at

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