New guidelines for breast cancer screening were posted by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), lowering the recommended starting age of mammograms from 50 to 40 years. This development could give the mammography equipment market, which was already worth $1.9bn in 2021 and is projected to reach $4.3bn by 2030, a significant boost in value, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.  

This guideline comes as an anticipated change due to the gradual rise of breast cancer in women aged between 40 and 49 years. While the current system may handle any immediate increase in requests for screenings, some long-term growth in mammography equipment sales is still expected as more imaging installations are needed to meet the prolonged demand of the younger age range.

Major players such as Hologic, which has the largest share in the mammography equipment market and has products in 2D digital mammography, breast tomosynthesis, and retrofit breast tomosynthesis, may benefit significantly from this recommendation.

The overall direction of the mammography market is shifting away from film-screen mammography towards computer-based modalities that are seen digitally. Digital mammography has been shown to be as good as film screening, and in some cases, better at breast carcinoma detection while also improving the mammogram workflow. The main drawback is the increased cost, which is the main barrier to its growth. Despite the financial downside, the advantages of digital imaging technologies are becoming clearer and as a result, film-screen mammography may become obsolete. Within the digital mammography segment, breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography is the main driver while retrofit breast tomosynthesis is offering more affordable options for upgrading 2D systems, which is leading to higher sales.

To summarise, the expansion of the recommended breast screening age range along with the advancements in digital mammography may contribute to stable growth for the mammography equipment market going forward.