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Breast Cancer Awareness: When should you get a mammogram?

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About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

Approximately 85% of those diagnoses occur in women with no family history of breast cancer. The cancer is caused by genetic mutations as a result of the aging process, which makes mammogram screenings imperative to catching cancer early.

The question is, at what age should you start getting screened? And how often do you need to be checked? There have been conflicting recommendations in recent years over when women should start mammogram screenings, here are a few of the varying recommendations from trusted organizations.

The American Cancer Society recommends screening every year between the ages of 45-54, then every two years from age 55, as long as you’re in good health.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends screening every year beginning at age 40, for as long as you’re in good health.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force has a more liberal recommendation of every two years from the ages of 50-74.

The American Colleges of Radiology and Gynecology recommends women with average risk of breast cancer risk undergo a baseline mammogram and an annual exam starting at age 40.

All organizations recommend earlier screenings (some as soon as age 30), for women who are considered to have an increased risk for breast cancer. This includes a family history of breast cancer, an abnormal BRCA I or II gene, or received radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Women with a sister or mother diagnosed with premenopausal breast cancer should begin screening 10 years prior to their relative’s age of diagnosis.

Mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate in the U.S. by 30 percent. There are currently no test to replace mammography.

Sinclair Broadcasting is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we’re introducing Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness and prevention. Here’s a look at what causes are coming up:

January Shape Up U.S. Month

February American Heart Month

March National Nutrition Month

April National Autism Awareness Month

May National Asthma/Allergy Awareness Month

June Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month

July UV Awareness Month

August National Immunization Awareness Month

September Healthy Aging Month

October Breast Cancer Awareness

November American Diabetes Month

December Safe Driving Month

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