The goal of mammogram screenings is to find breast cancer EARLY, when it is easier to treat and most survivable.
Though breast cancer is more common as women get older, it is important to begin mammogram screenings by age 40 because:
- Breast cancer is the number one cause of death in women aged 35 to 54 years.
- Beginning by age 40 lowers the chance of dying from breast cancer.
- Beginning by age 40 is especially important for Asian, Hispanic or Black women as they are more often diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age.
- More than half of women in their 40s have dense breasts (heterogeneously dense or extremely dense). Dense breasts increase the risk of developing breast cancer and can hide cancer on a mammogram. Women with dense breasts should talk to their health care provider about additional screening after their mammogram.
* Women at “high risk” for breast cancer (for example, those who have a disease-causing genetic mutation such as BRCA1 or BRCA2), should begin getting mammograms even younger – at least by age 30 — and also get an MRI every year.
- 5 Facts Every Woman Should Know
- Video Series: Let’s Talk About Dense Breasts
- Patient Risk Checklist (print)
- Patient Questions and Answers