Women should typically get their first mammogram at the age of 40. Regular mammograms are essential for early detection of breast cancer, as they can identify potential abnormalities before they become symptomatic. After the initial screening at 40, it's generally recommended to continue receiving mammograms annually to maintain breast health. These recommendations are based on extensive research and medical expertise.
Studies have shown that regular mammograms starting at the age of 40 can significantly reduce mortality rates associated with breast cancer. According to Dr. Takelya Williams, fellowship-trained breast surgeon at CHI Memorial Breast Care Associates, "Mammograms starting at 40 allow us to detect tumors at an earlier stage when they are smaller and more treatable." Early detection improves the chances of successful treatment and long-term survival.
For women with a family history of breast cancer, the age for the first mammogram might be earlier. If you have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who was diagnosed with breast cancer, especially at a younger age, your healthcare provider might recommend starting mammograms earlier. Dr. Betsy Washburn, CHI Memorial Breast Cancer Surgery Medical Director advises, "Women with a family history of breast cancer should have a conversation with their healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate screening plan based on their individual risk factors."
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