- Instead of making a resolution this year make a commitment; if you are a woman 40 years of age or older, you should receive annual mammography screening for breast cancer. Mammography detects breast cancer when it is most treatable. A mammogram could save your life. Make the commitment and schedule your screening mammogram.
When should women have a mammogram?
There is some confusion about when women should start mammography screening for breast cancer. Different groups have different recommendations for what age and how often a women should start mammography.
The Society of Breast Imaging states that annual mammography results in the most life years gained and greatest decrease in mortality for women with breast cancer.
A research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that 81 percent of physicians recommend that patients begin mammography screening between the ages of 40 and 44, and almost 63 percent recommend annual mammograms.
The Breast Center recommends that women who are at an average risk for breast cancer start annual screening mammograms at age 40. Several other groups also recommend annual mammograms for women starting at age 40:
- American Medical Association
- Society of Breast Imaging
- American College of Radiology
- National Cancer Institute
- American Cancer Society
A few minutes can save your life
Some women do not know that they should be receiving annual mammograms. However, a number of women who know the recommendations do not receive mammography screening.
Most breast cancers are not hereditary — only five to ten percent of breast cancer cases are inherited. An absence of the disease in your family history does not mean that you are safe from the disease. There is no way to prevent breast cancer.
The best way to protect yourself from breast cancer is by finding the disease and treating it as early as possible, and mammography is the most effective tool for detecting breast cancer.
Maybe you turn 40 this year, or maybe you’re over 40 and have never had a mammogram. Make this the year that you start annual mammography screening for breast cancer.
Mammograms take just a few minutes and they can save your life. Contact the Breast Center at 479-442-6266 to schedule mammography in Northwest Arkansas.