Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.
The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. A mammogram – the screening test for breast cancer – can help find breast cancer early when it’s easier to treat.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. Women ages 50 to 74 years should get a mammogram every 2 years. Women younger than age 50 should talk to a doctor about when to start and how often to have a mammogram. For additional information and resources visit www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/mammograms
Mammograms: Questions for the doctor
It helps to have questions for the doctor written down ahead of time. Print this list of questions and take it to your next appointment. You may want to ask a family member or close friend to go with you to take notes.
Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
Based on my risk factors, what is my chance of getting breast cancer?
What will happen when I go to get mammograms?
How long will it take to get the results of my mammograms?
If I don’t hear back about the results of my mammograms, does that mean everything is okay?
If you are under age 50, you might want to ask:
Should I start getting regular mammograms? If so, how often?
What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before age 50?
If you are between ages 50 and 74, you might want to ask:
How often should I get mammograms?
What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?