Can I get a mammogram if I am under 40?

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If you or your doctor has found a suspicious lump during a breast exam at any age, it’s time to have it looked at. Age 40 is the general rule of thumb to start having yearly mammograms. However, if you or your doctor feels for any reason you should have one sooner, now’s the time.
Studies to date have not shown a benefit from regular screening mammography in women under age 40. The reason is that younger females have dense breasts and a mammogram can give false negative results. Earlier mammogram is, however, recommended for a woman who has a family history of breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram may be indicated in the presence of breast mass at any age.
Elaine L. Wade, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Typically patients under 40 without family history or physical abnormality requesting a mammogram are not necessarily covered by insurance. Everyone's coverage does vary, and if there is an abnormality present that needs to be assessed imaging is supported, so it would not hurt to ask your physician.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.