Once a year, every year, starting at age 40.

Yes, you have heard many conflicting reports over the age and frequency of breast screening. But among the doctors who are most qualified to voice an opinion on the subject, there is strong agreement that annual screenings starting at 40—or earlier for women at high risk—are the best way to achieve early detection. And early detection is important because it affords you a greater chance for successful treatment and avoiding mastectomy.

The American College of Obstetricians, The American College of Radiology, Canadian Online Pharmacy, The Society for Breast Imaging and the American Society of Breast Surgeons all agree… screening mammography starting at age 40 for women at low or average risk is best, and possibly earlier for women at high risk.

IHS offers comprehensive women’s imaging services. We have the full range of screening and diagnostic imaging modalities, as well as separate waiting areas for women and only female technologists performing scans. Our radiologists are among the region’s most experienced in women’s imaging, and we are a certified Hologic provider. 

To learn more about our women’s imaging services, click here.

Which breast screening test is right for me?

 The average U.S. woman has a 1 in 8 risk over her lifetime of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Nearly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. 

We recommend annual screening mammography begin at age 40 for average risk women. Research shows the most lives are saved by screening at these intervals.

IHS Breast Screening Infographic

How do I know if I’m at high risk?

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is the key to survival. But for women at high risk, early detection may be more challenging than it is for women at low or intermediate risk.

At IHS, we offer a FREE High Risk Assessment Program. It’s designed to help women understand their risk for breast cancer and provide recommendations to help them reduce risk and live healthier.

To learn more about our high risk assessment program click here.

1 Cancer 21 August 2017 Comparison of recommendations for screening mammography using CISNET models. Elizabeth Kagan Arlea MD et al.
2 American Journal of Roentgenology. Voume 209, Issue 3 September 2017. Screening Mammography for Women in Their 40s: The potential impact of the ACS and USFSTF breast cancer screening recommendations. Jenifer A. Pitman, et al.
3 American College of Radiology recommendation

The latest clinical research shows that:

  • Annual screening starting at 40 reduces mortality by nearly 40%–compared with just 23.2% for biennial screening1
  • Women in their 40s account for nearly 20% of all screen-detected breast cancers2
  • In a single year, if every woman 40 years of age and older had annual mammograms, there would be 29,369 lives saved1
  • Screening mammograms should be also performed annually in older women, until the age of 841
  • African American women and women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are at a higher risk for breast cancer, and should have a breast cancer risk assessment at age 30 to determine if annual mammograms should begin before 40 years of age.3
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