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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    New information for getting a mammogram at 40 just released

    Image by Marco Jean deOliveira Teixeira from Pixabay

    Mammograms are an important tool for detecting breast cancer early, which can improve the chances of successful treatment. Traditionally, women were recommended to start getting mammograms at age 50, but new information suggests that starting at age 40 may be more beneficial.

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) currently recommends that women at average risk for breast cancer should begin getting yearly mammograms at age 45, and then switch to every other year starting at age 55. However, recent studies have shown that starting mammograms at age 40 can detect breast cancer earlier and save more lives.

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    One study published in the journal Cancer found that starting mammograms at age 40 could reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by up to 29 percent. The study also found that starting at age 50 only reduced the risk by 23 percent. Another study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that starting mammograms at age 40 detected 29 percent more breast cancers than starting at age 50.

    Despite this new information, there is still debate among medical professionals about the age at which women should begin getting mammograms. Some experts argue that starting at age 40 could lead to unnecessary tests and biopsies for women who do not have breast cancer and could also cause unnecessary anxiety and stress.

    The decision of when to start getting mammograms should be based on an individual’s personal risk factors for breast cancer. Women who have a family history of breast cancer, a genetic mutation that increases their risk, or other risk factors may need to start getting mammograms earlier than age 40. It’s important for women to talk to their doctor about their individual risk factors and when they should start getting mammograms.

    In addition to getting mammograms, women should also be familiar with their breasts and report any changes or concerns to their doctor. Breast self-exams can help women detect any changes in their breasts, such as lumps, swelling, or skin changes. Women should also have regular clinical breast exams by a healthcare provider.

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    In conclusion, the decision of when to start getting mammograms should be based on an individual’s personal risk factors for breast cancer. While the new information suggests that starting at age 40 may be more beneficial, it’s important to talk to your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and to continue with regular breast exams. Early detection is key to successful treatment of breast cancer, and mammograms are an important tool in detecting breast cancer early.

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