Breast cancer is diagnosed in about 240,000 women in the United States every year. While it’s not a diagnosis you want, early detection gives you the best chance of treatment. For most women, mammography is the best tool to find breast cancer.

Here at Capital Women’s Care in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland, our team wants you to understand when and why you should start getting mammograms.

Significance of screening

Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among women globally. In fact, next to skin cancer, it’s the most common cancer among women. Given its prevalence, regular screenings are critical so it can be detected early.

Mammograms don’t prevent breast cancer, but they allow doctors to find it as quickly as possible so you get prompt treatment and have the best chance of beating the disease.

Mammography is the gold standard

Mammography is a specialized X-ray designed to detect changes in breast tissue, including lumps, masses, or microcalcifications. Its ability to identify these subtle changes makes it an unparalleled tool in breast cancer detection.

Mammograms have a high sensitivity, meaning they can detect a wide range of abnormalities, even before the emergence of physical symptoms, like breast thickening, breast swelling, or flaky skin in the nipple area. 

Mammography screening recommendations

The following recommendations are for a woman who has an average risk of breast cancer. We consider you to be at average risk if you have no family or personal history of breast cancer, no genetic mutations associated with breast cancer, and haven’t had chest radiation before age 30. 

We personalize your mammography recommendations if you’re at a higher risk of developing the disease. 

Women between the ages of 40 and 44 have the option to start yearly screenings. Women who are 45-54 should prioritize yearly mammograms. Those who are older than 55 can opt to get a mammogram every other year or continue with yearly appointments. 

As long as you’re in good health and expected to live another 10 years, it’s a good idea to continue regular mammogram screenings. 

Overcome the barriers to mammograms

Many women have fear or anxiety surrounding mammograms. We’re here to assure you that the imaging is nothing to fear, and the results could save your life. 

Mammography is a powerful screening tool that helps us to identify breast abnormalities early. At Capital Women’s Care, we emphasize the importance of regular mammograms in saving lives and promoting your health. 

If you’re due for a mammogram, don’t hesitate to request an appointment by phone or online today. We can get you scheduled, evaluate your results, and guide you through any necessary follow-up care.