Mammograms are used to predict and find tumors in the [email protected] that are a result of [email protected] cancer. The current recommended screening frequency is every two years after age 50 according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
New research is now showing that age 50 could be too late for some women. Half of the woman who die from [email protected] cancer are under the age of 50. Out of those who pass away from the cancer, 71% of them did not get regular mammogram screenings. This statistic was out of 609 deaths from a study conducted by the Partners Healthcare Hospital in Boston, from those who had been diagnosed between 1990 and 1999 and then followed up through 2007.
The American Cancer Society says that women should begin getting screenings at age 40, not 50, and they should get them annually as opposed to every two years. If a women has a relative who has had [email protected] cancer, it is recommended that they begin getting mammograms between the ages of 25 and 30, or 10 years before the age of the relative when they were diagnosed. These guidelines can cause some confusion in women and physicians should be educating their patients.
There is no easy way to say when you should be getting screenings. If you wait until you are 50, it could end up being too late. If you start at 40 you may be able to catch the cancer sooner and be treated for it while it is in its early stages. Early screening promotes a better chance for survival. Know your risk factors based on family history and speak with your doctor about it to see what they recommend for you.