When Should I Start to Get Mammograms?

When you get older, you have to start going through more and more regular screenings for cancer, such as colonoscopies and yes, mammograms. So, when is the best time to start getting mammograms? Is age the only factor? Or what else should you be aware of when it comes to increased risk of breast cancer? If you’re not sure, don’t worry, we put together a quick and easy guide to help you know when you should start getting mammograms.

Family History of Breast Cancer

The biggest factor we’d ask you about is if you have a family history of breast cancer. If you do, then you’ll likely need to start getting mammograms in your early 40s. However, that’s just a general rule of thumb. If you are still coming in for your annual exams, we would be happy to discuss that family history and current health concerns to determine the right time to get a screening done.

Have Dense Breast Tissue

Dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to be able to detect lumps with a routine breast exam we perform with our hands. If you’ve been told you have dense breast tissue or you know you do, we usually recommend getting a 3D mammogram earlier than usual to make sure your breast tissue is healthy and free of abnormalities.

History Of Radiation To The Chest

If you have a history of exposure to radiation in your chest area, especially between the ages of 10 and 30 then you might have a higher risk of breast cancer. This would qualify you to start getting mammograms earlier, so if that applies to you be sure to keep it in mind.

Mammograms are the best way for us to detect breast cancer and hopefully start treatment early. Although most women can hold off on getting these screenings done until they turn 50, if you fall into any of the three categories above, then it’s a good idea to get them done sooner. We’d also be happy to discuss your risks during your yearly exams! Contact one of our offices today by calling 602-494-5050 (Paradise Valley) or 602-468-3912 (Biltmore).

Posted in: Mammography

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