05 Oct October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Early Detection Saves Lives!
The American College of Radiology recommends annual screening mammography for women starting at age 40. This provides the maximum benefits of reduced breast cancer mortality, less extensive treatments for cancers that are found, decreased chance of advanced disease at diagnosis, and discovery and treatment of high risk lesions. Breast cancer incidence increases substantially around age 40 and even earlier for women determined to be high risk. Most health insurers, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), covers women ages 40 and older for annual mammograms as a preventive service. Breast cancer detection in the early stages has a 90% or greater survival rate. The greatest mortality reduction, the most lives saved and the most life years gained occur with yearly mammography starting at age 40. There is no established age for women to stop screening, and even healthy women over the age of 74 should consider continued annual screenings.
Disclaimer: This Column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.