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Mammogram Guidelines 

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Breast cancer physicians of the Sentara Cancer Network support yearly screening mammography beginning at age 40.

This recommendation continues to be endorsed by these prominent organizations: the American Cancer Society, American College of OB/GYN, American College of Radiology, American Society of Breast Disease, American College of Surgeons and the Society for Breast Imaging.

American Cancer Society Mammogram Guidelines for Early Breast Cancer Detection in Women Without Symptoms

The following recommendations are for when to get a mammogram depending on your age and health history:

Annual Mammogram
Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

Mammography Guidelines

Clinical breast exam
Clinical breast exams should be part of a periodic health exam – about every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over.

Breast awareness and breast self-exam
Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care providers. Early detection is key in successfully treating breast cancer and it is important that women begin self-examinations as early as their 20s.

Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Screening breast MRI is recommended for women with approximately 20 to 25 percent or greater lifetime risk of breast cancer. This includes women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer and women who were treated for Hodgkin's disease.

Why is it important to get a mammogram?

You will experience many changes in your breasts, and it’s helpful for you and your doctor to understand what is normal for you. You will feel some of these changes during a self-breast exam, but not all. A digital mammogram will show more and by following the mammogram guidelines listed above, you can increase changes of successful breast cancer treatment.

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