When and How Often Should I have Mammograms?
When should I have a mammogram?
This is the best way to protect your breast health. The American Cancer Society recommends that every woman age 40 and older have a mammogram every year.
If you have a first-degree relative (mother or sister) with breast cancer, your first mammogram should be done when you are 10 years younger than the age at which your youngest first-degree relative was diagnosed. For example, if your mother was diagnosed at age 35 with breast cancer, you should have a mammogram done at age 25.
If you are about to start Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and haven't had your first (baseline) mammogram, you should have one scheduled prior to starting HRT.
A mammogram should also be performed if any changes are noticed in the breast. These include a lump discovered in the breast, any dimpling or puckering of the breast, a change in the color or texture of the skin of the breast, a change in shape or size of the breast; and/or any nipple discharge.
You should also check your breasts each month. Your doctor can show you how, and you can look at BreastHealthOnline's Monthly Self Exam information.