For decades, women have been trying to find an answer to the question: “Am I old enough for a mammogram?” This is an important question because mammograms provide the best way to detect breast cancer early. An early detection could mean that doctors will be able to stop the cancer before it can spread.
Some people argue about the age to start mammograms but most women have a general idea: your forties. According to the American Cancer Society, women age 40-44 have the choice to start annual breast screenings. Ladies 40-44 are not yet at high risk but if they have a family history of breast cancer, they should certainly get checked at this age or earlier. If you know breast Cancer is in your family, ask your doctor when to start having mammograms- some doctors recommend additional MRI’s for patients of this sort.
As you get older into your forties, the risk for breast cancer increases. Thus, the American Cancer Society recommends women aged 45 to 54 get a mammogram every year. After this, women 55 and over should continue to get a mammogram every two years.
Older women should be aware that the threat of breast cancer remains, so they should continue to get mammograms if they are expected to live 10 years more or longer.
Although most doctors don’t recommend women who aren’t high risk to start getting mammograms until your forties, if women notice any changes with their breasts, no matter what age, they should seek medical attention. Remember, early detection is currently the best way to defeat cancer!