The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer in women living to age 85 is one in eight (or 12.5 percent).

Mammography is the only current screening proven effective in reducing overall mortality in the general population. If detected early by mammography, the prognosis of beating breast cancer is excellent.

For the general population, the recommendation is to have a baseline examination at age 34, followed by annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Annual mammograms are recommended until age 90.

For women with a family history of breast cancer, the risk increases dramatically. These women should have annual mammograms beginning at age 30. Certain high risk women, including those with a know defect of the BRCA genes, multiple first degree relatives with breast and ovarian cancer, a history of chest radiation at n early age and other risk factors are encouraged to start annual mammography screening as early as 25 years of age.

Rely on your primary care physician to determine your individual risk assessment and an appropriate screening mammography schedule.

This information provided by NCMC and Banner Health.