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
Have a health and wellness question?
Submit your general health and wellness questions to email@example.com or through any official #askmercydm tagged Facebook post.
Please note that the Ask an Expert Health Series is a general health and wellness discussion and is not meant to provide medical diagnoses, treatments or to replace medical care. Please refer to your primary care provider for personal health treatment options.