Skip to content

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Breast Cancer Screening

Overview

Experts agree that mammograms are the best screening test for people at average risk of breast cancer. But they don't all agree on the age at which screening should start. And they don't agree on whether it's better to be screened every year or every two years.

Here are some of the recommendations from experts:

  • Start by age 40 and have a mammogram each year.
  • Start at age 45 and have a mammogram each year.
  • Start at age 50 and have a mammogram every 2 years.

When to stop having mammograms is another decision. You and your doctor can decide on the right age to start and stop screening based on your personal preferences and overall health.

The screening tests for breast cancer include:

Mammogram.

This is an X-ray of the breast that can often find tumors that are too small for you or your doctor to feel. Most of the ones done today are digital mammograms. They record images of the breast in an electronic file.

3-D mammogram (digital breast tomosynthesis).

This test uses X-rays to create a three-dimensional image of the breast. This test may be used alone or with a digital mammogram.

Clinical breast exam (CBE).

During this test, your doctor will carefully feel your breasts and under your arms to check for lumps or other unusual changes. Talk to your doctor about whether to have this test.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the breast.

An MRI may be used as a screening test for women who have a high risk of breast cancer. This includes women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and/or have a strong family history of breast cancer. An MRI may also be useful for women who have breast implants or whose breast tissue is very dense.

Credits

Current as of: April 29, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Douglas A. Stewart MD - Medical Oncology

Request an Appointment

COVID-19 Alert!

To ensure our patients are taken care of, we remain open, just in a limited capacity. However, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or fever with cough or shortness of breath, please call our office to reschedule your appointment at (404) 355-0320. You may also contact our office for any questions.

To minimize the number of people in the office, please come to your appointments alone. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are happy to Facetime your loved ones!

For your safety and the safety of nurses, doctors, and other patients, we are requesting that you please wear a mask to the office. See notes below for safely wearing a medical mask:

For our pregnant patients who are anticipating a visit to the hospital soon, we ask that you limit visitors to just 1 healthy visitor per patient for Labor & Delivery, Antepartum, and Postpartum rooms.  This is to protect you, your baby, and your family/visitor.

We appreciate your understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

Tour Information for COVID-19

Online Childbirth Education (Due to COVID-19, our classes will be cancelled temporarily. However, this is a great resource to use!)

Follow us on social media for more information!

 

Atlanta Obstetrics & Gynecology Logo