How Young Is Too Young For Mammograms?


downloadBy: Krystle Crossman

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.



  1. I lost a sister to breast cancer at age 42. Enough said. Do what you feel is best for you, find a healthcare provider who will listen to your wishes. It’s your life to save.

  2. I agree with tiamette. Definitely find a healthcare provider that will listen to your needs. Always pay attention to your body. I was diagnosed with Breast cancer last year at 31 yrs old and had a mastectomy. It was caught early and for that I am blessed and thankful.

  3. I lost a friend to breast cancer. She was 31. I know that black women get it earlier and it’s more aggressive. Maybe they should be screened in the 25 – age 30 cohort.

  4. Presently working for Radiology and schedule these exams everyday, you can’t have a Mammogram under the age of 40 yrs old. On the other hand if breast cancer runs in the family or your experiencing any abnormal such as pain, cyst or a lump of the breast; the Dr will exam you for a Mammo w/ an Ultrasound for it could be a genetic trait.

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