Q: I will be 40 years old this year? When should I begin to have mammograms?
A: This question has been debated among medical experts for years. The majority of organizations concerned with preventing, diagnosing, and treating breast cancer recommend baseline screening at age 40 and mammograms every year or every two years after that. Although breast cancer among women under age 50 is not common, early detection has clearly been shown to be beneficial in saving lives.
Some authorities recommend starting mammograms at age 50 for women with no increased risk of breast cancer, citing costs, low breast cancer recurrence rates in women under 50, and unnecessary biopsies which may result from false-positive mammograms. However, everyone agrees that all women should start having regular mammograms by age 50.
The most important advice is to discuss your individual situation with your personal physician, or an Evansville Surgical Associates breast surgeon, who then can make recommendations about mammography depending on your age, your family history, and your overall health.
To learn more about mammograms or to schedule an appointment, call 424-8231 or 800-264-8231.