- Some people with breast cancer experience no symptoms. Mammography may detect lumps before they can be felt during a self-exam.
- Screening can’t prevent breast cancer, but it can help catch the disease earlier when it is easier to treat. Regular mammograms can lower your risk of dying from breast cancer.
- One in eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the US.
- Mammography is quick and relatively painless. The procedure only lasts about 20 minutes, and most women experience only minor discomfort. Tell the technologist if you experience pain during your mammogram.
- Mammograms are safe. Patients experience a very small amount of radiation exposure, equivalent to the amount of radiation a woman would get from her natural environment over a 7-week period.
- Breast cancer risk increases with age. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women who are age 50 to 74 get a mammogram every two years. Women who are 40 to 49 years old should talk to their health care provider about when to start and how often to get a mammogram.
- Mammograms are the most effective tool for breast cancer detection.
- Most insurance companies cover the cost of annual routine mammograms. Many organizations offer free or low-cost mammograms to women without insurance coverage.
- It sets a good example. Be a role model for the other women in your life by keeping up with all of your preventive health screenings, including your mammogram.