Family physicians should discuss with each woman the potential benefits and harms of breast cancer screening tests and develop a plan for early detection of breast cancer that minimizes potential harms. These discussions should include the evidence regarding each screening test, the risk of breast cancer, and individual patient preferences. The recommendations below are based on current best evidence as summarized by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and can help to guide physicians and patients. These recommendations are intended to apply to women who are not at increased risk of developing breast cancer and only apply to routine screening procedures.
The AAFP recommends against clinicians teaching women Breast Self Examination (BSE). (2016)
These recommendations are provided only as assistance for physicians making clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients. As such, they cannot substitute for the individual judgment brought to each clinical situation by the patient's family physician. As with all clinical reference resources, they reflect the best understanding of the science of medicine at the time of publication, but they should be used with the clear understanding that continued research may result in new knowledge and recommendations. These recommendations are only one element in the complex process of improving the health of America. To be effective, the recommendations must be implemented.