In a previous post, we touched on why preventative health care is so crucial to our daily wellness. When you take preventative measures such as making wise eating and lifestyle habits consistently, combined with seeing your primary care physician for wellness care screenings, it can effectively prevent illness and disease.

Preventative women’s health care is seeing a gynecologist for a pap smear and, as women age, breast cancer screenings such as mammograms. Many women tend to delay their first mammogram, because of the myths surrounding them, which begs to ask, what is the ideal age for a mammogram?

If you’ve been putting off a mammogram, Virginia Premium Medical Care in Ashburn offers preventative women’s health care options in a patient-centered medical clinic. Learn all about what the ideal age is to receive a mammogram in today’s post.

Mammograms As Diagnostic Tools

Mammograms are used in women’s health to identify breast masses that may lead to cancer, and talking with your primary care physician, together, it can be decided when the best time to get your first mammogram will be.

Mammograms are unique to the individual woman, but most should have one by the age of 50.

In the past couple of years, there was a concern in the medical community that mammograms weren’t as advantageous for early detection and were actually causing more harm than good, so the age for a woman to start getting a mammogram has expanded.

The guidelines for a mammogram by the American Cancer Society are as follows:

  • Women 40 to 44 – Women between these ages are given the option to start an annual breast cancer screening and may do so on their own accord.      
  • Women 45 to 54 – The American Cancer Society recommends that women between these ages get annual mammograms.
  • Women 55 and up – These are ages when women have the choice to continue with annual mammograms or switch to every two years.

Other recommendations:

  • Women should continue screenings so as long as they are in good health and have a life expectancy of 10 years or more.
  • There are a small number of women that because of a genetic component or other risk factors, are recommended to get an MRI in addition to a mammogram.

Always Do What’s Best For You

As a woman, you know your body better than anyone so it’s imperative to do what’s best for you. Remember that the above ages are guidelines for the average woman and are just recommendations for mammogram screenings. Also keep in mind, that if a lump is found at a wellness checkup, mammograms are needed as a diagnostic and will be used regardless of age.

The takeaway for every woman is that mammograms are used in part of preventative medicine to help detect breast cancer earlier and catch it sooner so the right course of action can be taken. While there are guidelines to follow by the American Cancer Society, always discuss with your doctor what’s right for you!

Don’t compromise your health by putting off preventative wellness check-ups with your primary care physician or gynecologist, and schedule one today with our office!