When should I get a mammogram?
Learn about the importance of mammograms for each stage of your life.
A screening mammogram (breast X-ray) is the standard way to check for breast cancer in women who have no problems with their breasts. If you have any problems like pain or lumps in your breast, see your doctor right away. Don’t wait for a screening test.
When should you start having screening mammograms? It’s a personal choice. Think about:
- The pros and cons (outlined below). If you start at age 40, mammograms may find issues that are not serious. This can lead to further testing and cause anxiety or worrying more than normal. If you wait until age 50, there’s a chance of finding cancer at a later, less curable stage.
- Your overall health
- Your chances of getting breast cancer
- If you have an average chance of getting breast cancer: The cons may outweigh the pros.
- If you have a higher chance of getting breast cancer: A mammogram may be a good idea.
Some experts say to start screening mammograms at age 40; others at age 50.
- If you have an average chance of getting breast cancer: Every two years.
- If you have a higher chance of getting breast cancer: Every year.
Some experts say women should get a mammogram every year. Others say every two years.
Some experts say to stop getting mammograms at age 75. Others say to keep getting screened. The chance of getting breast cancer goes up with age. But breast cancer grows more slowly in older women. And some cancers never cause problems.
- American Cancer Society, cancer.org
- Susan G. Komen
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.