Should I Get a Mammography?

For now, the answer is still yes.

I hate when things get confusing. I turned 40 last May and was feeling very good about myself for getting my mammogram in the same calendar year. Granted it was December, but the important thing is, I did it. The current recommendations from ACOG are for women aged 40 and older be offered a mammography annually. There is some disagreement from other institutions about frequency before the age of 50.

Now, there is a new study providing some evidence mammographies may be useless. The study of over 90,000 women spanning 25 years found that death rates from breast cancer and all causes was no different in women who received regular mammographies. What?! Here I am, patiently waiting for a good ovarian cancer screening test to complement mammography and they may be taking away my breast cancer screening? Where does that leave me?

For now, best to take a wait and see approach, discuss mammography with your doctor and keep doing what you’ve been doing. Self breast exams have always been important and this new study shows they may become even more critical in the future. Awareness of your body and your symptoms is always a powerful thing. Remember most ovarian cancers are brought to light not by a screening test, but by the patient noticing changes in their body. So, while the doctors and scientists try to figure it all out, take matters into your own hands. Here’s how.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.

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