When to Start Having Routine Mammograms
Prior to 2023 the recommendation for women at average risk for breast cancer having regular mammograms was age 50. However, the Preventative Services Task Force changed the recommendation to age 40 in 2023. This is due to an increase in breast cancer rates in women in their forties. The American Cancer Society more specifically recommends that women aged 45 to 54 at average risk should get mammograms every year. Your healthcare provider may recommend mammograms annually or bi-annually based on your individual risk factors.
Beginning mammograms in your forties, rather than fifties, also increases the chance of early detection. This is important because early detection provides women with treatment options that are less aggressive while remaining highly effective. Early detection means finding and diagnosing breast cancer before symptoms, such as a lump, start.
As mentioned, the new recommendation is for women at average risk, which means:
- Having no family history of breast cancer.
- Having no personal history of breast cancer.
- Not being a gene carrier.
- Having no previous radiation to the chest.
It is important to be aware that the new age recommendation for mammograms does not apply to women who are at high risk for breast cancer. Women at high risk should work with their healthcare provider on an individualized plan for prevention and screening.
Women considered high risk for breast cancer:
- Have a strong family history of breast cancer.
- Have inherited changes in their BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes.
The new mammogram age recommendation provides women and their providers with more opportunities to detect and diagnose breast cancer early. Talking with your healthcare provider is the first step to learning more about mammograms and when they should become a routine part of your care. Lakeview Clinic’s imaging services in Waconia provide 3D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis), which is an imaging test that combines multiple breast X-rays to create a three-dimensional picture of the breast. We recommend contacting your insurance provider before your appointment to see if your 3D mammogram will be covered by your insurer.
To schedule a mammogram at Lakeview Clinic in Waconia, please call 952-442-4461.