That's why the American Cancer Society urges all women to get a clinical breast exam each year once they reach 40. Health experts say women over 40 should also have a mammogram every year or two.
Just remember, mammography is not as accurate in younger women, so until you hit menopause, there is a greater chance of a false positive result when you take the test.
"That means that it's more likely if your doctor calls you back and says there was something funny in your mammogram and they have to go take another look or maybe want to do a biopsy, the chances are pretty high that it's going to be falsely positive," explains Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the Editorial Board for the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, "meaning that there really was nothing there."
Dr. Swartzberg says if you are at high risk for breast cancer--that is a close relative had the disease, you've never been pregnant, or you waited to have your first baby until after you were 30-- you should definitely talk to your physician about starting mammograms at age 40 or younger.
For More Information: