Are Annual Mammograms Safe?
Opinion varies somewhat on the question of when to have your first mammograms and how often before age 50. The experts all agree, however, that women age 50 or older should have a mammogram to screen for breast cancer once a year.
Many doctors believe you should have your first mammogram at age 40. Some say 35, and still others say sometime between 35 and 40. After age 40, screening mammograms are usually recommended every one or two years.
Talk with your doctor. If you have a strong family history and other risk factors for breast cancer, more frequent screening may be appropriate.
Mammograms should be just one component of a screening program. The other parts are monthly breast self-exam, and an annual clinical exam done by a doctor or other professional experienced in doing clinical breast exams.