What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is used to detect cancerous lumps in the breast. It is a painless procedure that can be done in your doctor's office or radiology center. It is best to schedule your mammogram for immediately after your period ends, the time when your breasts are least tender.

When should I get a mammogram?

Most doctors believe that women should have a baseline mammogram done when she is 35 years old. Between the ages of 40 and 50, she should have a mammogram done every other year. After age 50, she should have a mammogram done every year. Your doctor may also request that you have a mammogram if he/she feels a suspicious lump.

Why is it important to have a mammogram done?

A mammogram is able to detect breast cancer in its early stages, when treatment and cure is probable. The best ways to detect breast cancer early are to perform the monthly breast self exam (BSE), have a yearly breast exam by a medical professional, and to have routine mammography screening.

For information on where you can have a mammography done in the United States, you may contact the National Cancer Institute at (800)-4-CANCER.