When to get a routine mammogram?
Q: Dr. Holzer, there are many discrepancies on when someone should get a routine mammogram. What is the starting age and how often? I am 49 and get one yearly. Is that necessary?
A: This is a great question and is more involved than you might initially realize. In fact, not all experts agree, which can make this confusing! You and your doctor need to have a conversation about your risk factors-including age, family history of breast of ovarian cancer, history of chest radiation, and the possibility of genetic mutations- to decide the age to start screening mammograms and the frequency you should have them.
American Cancer Society: Recommends annual mammography starting at age 40
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Recommends annual mammography starting at age 40
United States Preventative Services Task Force: Recommends mammography every other year starting at age 50
About the Expert:
Dr. Anna Holzer, Family Medicine
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