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Breast cancer is one type of cancer where family history is especially important. If you have two close relatives who've had either breast cancer or ovarian cancer, especially if it's before age 40, I recommend you start screening at age 25. But if you don't have previous history, you should get a mammogram starting at age 40. And you should have one at least every other year after that.
Early mammograms don't prevent cancer, but they can detect it -- and if caught early enough, it can be treated with the most conservative means (such as a lumpectomy).
I follow the American College of Radiology guidelines which states that women should begin annual screening mammogram at age 40. And, if she has a family history of breast carcinoma in a first degree relative (example: mother or sister), then screening should begin 10 years before the age of their diagnosis.
Also, the following are some important reminders to consider in order to make your experience run smoothly. Before your mammogram, ensure that all previous breast studies will be available to the radiologist at the time of your exam. Comparing imaging is essential for a complete interpretation of your mammograms. On the day of your appointment, you should not use any products under your arms or on your breasts. Lastly, bring your doctor's mammogram order and describe your breast problems to the person performing your exam.
In a recent e-newsletter it was incorrectly reported that Dr. Tewfik endorsed the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) mammogram recommendations. Dr. Tewfik does not endorse the USPSTF recommendations but follows the American College of Radiology guidelines, which state that women should begin annual screening at age 40. And, if a woman has a family history of breast carcinoma in a first degree relative (example: mother or sister), then screening should begin 10 years before the age of their diagnosis.
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.