Screening Mammography–THE BASICS

Screening Mammography- The Basics

The American Cancer Society and numerous other national organizations recommend that all women begin routine annual screening mammography at age 40.  There is no specific age limit at which screening mammography should be discontinued. But in general, if one’s life expectancy is thought to be relatively short due to medical problems, screening mammography could be discontinued.  For women above the age of 85-90, even if very healthy, in most cases there is probably little benefit from continued screening mammography. You should still do breast self exams, and any new lumps should be evaluated promptly.

3D Mammography

Since about 2015, a new type of mammography has been available, called 3D mammography.  For some women this may be a better option, particularly if your breast tissue is especially dense.  It allows the radiologist to view the breast tissue in slices.  With 3D mammography, fewer women need to be called back for additional studies, and fewer women need to undergo biopsies.  Not all insurance policies cover 3D mammography, which costs around $100 if paid for out of pocket.  Medicare typically DOES cover it.

If you have a LUMP or any other SYMPTOM related to your breasts. you should undergo a DIAGNOSTIC MAMMOGRAM instead.

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