Breast Health: When to Start Mammograms

Do you know when you should start mammograms? There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on the internet, and it can be very confusing figuring out what to expect with your reproductive health as you get older. Different agencies also have different answers about when to start breast cancer screenings. Here’s what you need to know.

You don’t really have to start mammograms until the age of 45.

Most women don’t need to worry about mammograms until the age of 45, although many doctors start pushing for annual screenings at around age 40. While screening that early can be beneficial for some, it could also be frivolous as most women do not develop cancer that early in life.

Getting a base line

Many doctors ask patients to start getting mammograms around the age of 40 to 45 even though they don’t expect to see anything. Doctors like to do this so that they have a baseline to compare future scans to when it becomes more important.

Mammograms could be needed sooner.

You need to remember that there are a lot of factors that could contribute to your risk of breast cancer. If you have several of these risk factors, your doctor will probably have you start yearly mammograms earlier in life and continue them longer than generally recommended.

When can the breast images stop?

In truth, you should never stop being diligent about breast cancer risk and prevention. As long as a woman is assumed to live at least another 10 years, they should continue regular breast cancer screening. Once a woman is completely through menopause, they usually no longer require frequent screenings and can go  down to every other year.

Ready to talk mammograms with one of our doctors? Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.