Mammograms – When Should I Start?


Who would have ever thought that the idea of mammograms would be controversial? There are many voices on the subject with varied opinions and women’s groups who advocate for those differing stands. The doctors at The Woman’s Clinic believe the life-saving procedure is warranted every year starting at age 40 for women with average risk and are in good health.

It is important to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Do you have a close family history of breast cancer – mother, sister, aunt? Are you considered obese? Do you have any other health concerns that could increase your risk? If so, you should speak to your doctor about your personal risk and together make an informed decision on your individual need for screening.

The three main national advocates for mammography frequency and their positions are:

American Cancer Society

  • Informed decision-making with a health care provider ages 40 – 44
  • Every year starting at age 45 – 54
  • Every 2 years (as a personal choice) starting at age 55 and continuing as long as the woman is in good health

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

  • Every year starting at age 40, and continuing as long as the woman is in good health
  • Breast tomosynthesis (3D) mammography may be considered if available

US Preventive Service Task Force

  • Informed decision-making with a health care provider ages 40-49
  • Every 2 years starting at age 50 and ending at age 74

As you can see there are significant differences between the recommendations and many are touted as “cost saving.” At The Woman’s Clinic, we appreciate the need to control the rising cost of healthcare, but we always want to err on the side of life saving.

If you are age 40 or above, it’s time to schedule your mammogram. We make it easy! You can contact us here.

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