October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness. Breast cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer in women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Mammography is the most effective screening tool used today to find breast cancer in most women. However, the benefits of mammography vary with age.
Is it time for a mammogram?
Screening test are used to find cancer before a person has any symptoms. Here are the recommendations of The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) to help when deciding about screening for breast cancer.
Beginning at age 40, average-risk women without symptoms should discuss with their physician the benefits, harms, and personal preferences of breast cancer screening with a mammography before the age of 50.
Women ages 50 and older are encouraged to schedule mammograms every 2 years.
It is important for all women to talk with a health care provider, starting at age 40, to discuss when to start screening for breast cancer.