I am approaching the age of my first mammogram. Isnâ€™t getting older wonderful? I am looking forward to it about as much as I did my first period. Iâ€™ve faithfully gone to my gynecologists for my yearly exam every year since I was about 19-years-old. No one enjoys these exams, but then again Iâ€™d much rather prefer a little poking around under the hood to the alternative.
Like I always tell my father, who hates to go to the doctor, just because you donâ€™t go to the doctor to get checked and diagnosed does not mean that there are no issues. It only means that you are unaware of them. So, I go to the doctor and get my exams religiously and I will get my mammograms as dictated by my gynecologist.
So, I thought I should do a little research and make sure that all of you know when you are supposed to start getting your mammograms. Here is what I found.
- Family history screening for breast screening should start at age 35.
- Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every year for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over
- Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health
- Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.
There are some women who, because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors, should be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. Talk with your doctor about your history and determine whether or not you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
Bottom line is, start doing breast self-exams when you are in your 20â€™s and make a point of seeing your gynecologists once a year to have your exams. This is the only way to stay in optimal gynecological health.
Do you see your gynecologist regularly?
Photo Source: Roswell Park