The American College of Radiology, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation all recommend women have yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. All of these organizations have extensive data to back up their recommendations.
U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that once women turn 50, they should get a mammogram screening every other year until they turn 75 years old. There is no recommendation for women under the age of 50 years old, and there isn’t sufficient data for the USPSTF to recommend regular mammograms for women over the age of 75.
A majority of the women who participated in a recent poll taken by NPR believed that they should get a mammogram every year, regardless of their age.
Chances are, these women have been listening to their doctors. Mammograms are the best way to find cancers, and finding cancer early is the key to successful treatment.
A mammogram is an x-ray picture taken of the breasts to screen for breast cancer, and while the frequency with which mammograms should be done varies by age, women of all ages who participated in the poll believed that they should be screened more often than the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends.
- 60% of women over the age of 75 believe that they should have a mammogram every single year.
- 65% of women between the ages of 50 and 75 believe that they should have a mammogram every single year.
- 56% of women between the ages of 40 and 49 believe that they should have a mammogram every single year.
- 45% of women younger than 40 believe that they should have a mammogram every single year.
It’s certainly interesting that most women believe that they should get a mammogram at twice the recommended rate, but maybe the most interesting number from the poll is that roughly half of the women polled believe they need an annual mammogram at a younger age than the USPSTF recommends for regular biannual screenings.
While the data may be surprising, it’s good news. Screening for breast cancer is an important thing to do. The earlier you identify cancer, the more likely it is to manage or treat it. We believe that an annual mammogram is still the best choice. If you’re due for a mammogram, contact The Breast Center today.