Skip to Main Content

Early breast cancer screening with MRI and mammogram may benefit leukemia and sarcoma survivors 


Starting screening at age 40 in non-irradiated survivors of leukemia and sarcoma is cost effective and can improve breast cancer outcomes.

stock image of woman about to get mammogram talking to nurse

Some childhood cancer survivors have a greater chance of getting breast cancer. Those who had chest radiation are at the highest risk. In these survivors, experts suggest breast cancer screening starting at age 25. Higher rates of breast cancer have occurred in leukemia and sarcoma survivors too, even when they did not get radiation. 

A recent study looked at screening methods for survivors of leukemia and sarcoma to see if early screening was helpful. 

What does this mean for you? 

If you are an adult cancer survivor of leukemia and sarcoma who did not get radiation, talk with your doctors about breast cancer screening.  Starting mammograms and breast MRIs at age 40 may help providers find breast cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat and cure. 

Other steps to reduce your breast cancer risk are:

  • Get screenings suggested by your health care provider.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get regular exercise. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Do not smoke.

Remember, every person is different, so talk to your doctor about the right steps for you and ask about your survivorship care plan


Yeh JM, Lowry KP, Schechter CB, Diller LR, O'Brien G, Alagoz O, Armstrong GT, Hampton JM, Hudson MM, Leisenring W, Liu Q, Mandelblatt JS, Miglioretti DL, Moskowitz CS, Nathan PC, Neglia JP, Oeffinger KC, Trentham-Dietz A, Stout NK. Breast Cancer Screening Among Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated Without Chest Radiation: Clinical Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2022 Feb 7;114(2):235-244. 

Read the paper