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What age for first mammogram? What age for first mammogram?

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Unread 10-17-2009, 09:41 PM
What age for first mammogram?

I wanted to know at what age are you suppose to get your first mammo. I have people telling me at 35 for the baseline, and others that say 40. I am so confused. I am 35.
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Unread 10-18-2009, 12:29 AM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

Hi Well, my DR says usually it's at 40, but there can be reasons to have it earlier, such as having a family history of breast cancer or going through surgical menopause.

I had my first one at 39, a baseline. I was 45 and perimenopausal when I had my hysterectomy/BSO and at 47 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

What does your DR say?

Unread 10-18-2009, 05:07 AM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

I was 39 but that was because I hadn't turned 40 when it was scheduled which was only a month away. Most doc do say 40 as their baseline. But just likesuferbabe said it could be earlier if it runs in your family. They may also do one if they feel a lump doing routine examination. Had that happen to a girlfriend but thank God it was benign.
Unread 10-18-2009, 06:44 AM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

Thank you for the responses to my question. My doc hasnt mentioned the mammo yet, but I just switched to a new PCP. I think I better also call my health insurance to find out at what age do they start paying for a mammo. In the past, I have had situations when the insurance didnt pay for certain things.
Unread 10-18-2009, 12:20 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

I think that in the last decade, the suggested age for a baseline has changed. I have no history of breast cancer in my family and I was advised to have a baseline at 35 with annuals starting at age 40. That was 10 years ago. My sister, who is 5 years younger, was advised to have a baseline at 40....so I'm thinking that things changed somewhere between 2000 and 2005 in terms of when the baseline is suggested. I am not certain, but with the baseline at 40 now, I think you are supposed to have annuals from that point on whereas with the age 35 baseline, I was advised that I didn't need to start annuals until age 40 ( of course, had they seen anything on the baseline, I'm sure that schedule would have changed). I also had an ultrasound at my baseline as that was the standard at the breast center I went to at the time -- was told it was because of the denseness of breasts of younger women. It seems that this change is similar to that of pap smear timing. I started at 16 and was told I had to have an annual one from that point on out (again, no history of cervical cancer in my family). Now some Drs advise that you can go every 2-3 years if your paps have been clear. For my peace of mind, I still go every year and my Dr certainly does not object...and I've never had my insurance not cover the annual pap (which is amazing considering that it seems they frequently look for reasons to get out of covering something if they can!!).
Unread 10-18-2009, 11:46 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

The age is changing and you may even get some mixed answers. The technology has changed and with increased sensitivity comes the lower age of onset of screening. Speak with your doctor for the most accurate information for you. As far as I know the following is the most current recommendations:
American Cancer Society recommends clinical breast exams ~ every three years during your 20's-30's then yearly after 40 along with beginning mammographies yearly after the age of 40. High risk ladies should also consider MRI's
Canadian Cancer Society recommends a clinical breast exam every two years with a mammography every two years as of 50 years old.
These recommendations are recommendations the ages can vary based upon individual risk factors and family histories. Don't forget self exams.
Unread 10-19-2009, 05:19 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

I had my first mammogram in my early 30's. As I have fiberous breasts the doctor thought it would a good idea to get a baseline for future tests and to be sure all was well. It was. After that first test, I than went every other year until after my tah/bso. My doc than recommended annually. That is me, your doctor may recommend something else. Check with your doctor as to what he/she recommends.
Unread 10-19-2009, 05:31 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?


My GYN suggests 40 or 50! Depends on the patient and patient history! He doesn't totally follow a one size fits all plan on this! For me, it was going to be 40. Now that my mother is having them, he may let me wait a few more years. We will continue to discuss it so we can determine what is best for me and when.

My mother's doctor, on the other hand, didn't recommend she have one until she started using Estrace for natural menopause issues. She was already in her early 50's. Now she has one every year.

Talk to your own doctors about what might be best for you!

Unread 10-19-2009, 06:07 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

I had my first one at age 35. My doctor wanted a baseline for later. That way when they see it at 40 they know where it was.
Unread 10-21-2009, 06:27 PM
Re: What age for first mammogram?

Thank you for all of the responses. Do you think I should bring the issue of the mammo up with my PCP or my Gyno doc? I figure most of the time its the GYNO doc that performs the breast exams in the office so they would be more familiar with your specific breast.

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