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Q. What is the recommendation for a mammogram screening for a 74-year-old woman with no history or family history of breast cancer?


The most important screening test for breast cancer is the mammogram. It can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor can be felt by you or your doctor. Breast cancer screening guidelines may vary slightly from organization to organization. It can be a little confusing to understand what is right for you because of this. However, for women between 50 and 74 years of age, the recommendation is typically every one or two years, depending on individual factors and shared decision making with your doctor. At 75 years of age, women should continue to discuss the use of mammography in their care to determine frequency.

Discussing your individual risk with your health care provider can help determine how frequently you should be screened. It is always a good idea to work with your doctor to set up a schedule that is right for your age and situation. In addition to the doctor, there are resources to contact in order to possibly receive additional information. Below are some resources that may be helpful:

CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP): Provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women who have low incomes and are uninsured or underinsured.

Time to Screen: Provides information on how to get access to screening options and may be able to assist in other care solutions and provide screening eduation.

Susan G. Komen: Offers a Breast Care Helpline and Patient Navigation to help guide patients through the health care system and remove barriers to breast care. You can call directly at 877- GO KOMEN (877-465-6636).

Finally, CancerCare’s website provides options to educate patients on breast health that may be helpful, including:

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