Breast Health: When to Start Getting Mammograms

Most women know that mammograms are an important part of protecting their health, but many women are not aware of when they should start getting them. It is important that you begin talking to your doctor about mammograms early so that you are prepared. Here’s when you should start getting mammograms.

A Baseline

Some doctors suggest that you have your first mammogram at around age 39 to 41, depending on your risk factors for breast cancer. Getting a mammogram at this age is usually recommended so that there is a baseline result in which to compare future results. Sometimes this early mammogram detects abnormalities that must be addressed, but this is actually rare. Most cases of breast cancer are found between the ages of 45 and 55.

According to the American Cancer Association

The American Cancer Association suggests that women begin getting mammograms between the ages of 41 and 45. Your doctor may request that you start getting mammograms earlier if you have high risk factors, such as a family history of breast cancer.

Frequency

Women aged 45 to 55 should have a mammogram every year. Women aged 55 and up can opt to have a mammogram every other year if they do not have many risk factors. Mammograms should continue as long as you are healthy and expected to live another ten or more years.

If you haven’t yet scheduled your first mammogram, or if you are overdue for your mammogram, contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your unique situation. We will examine your medical history and lifestyle to assess your risk of breast cancer and recommend a schedule and start year for your mammogram routine.