Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer for women in the U.S., and each year thousands of women die from this horrific disease.
While women over the age of 40 are encouraged to get yearly mammograms, there are exceptions to the rule.
In fact, under certain conditions, women as young as 35 should be getting tested for breast cancer as a recommended preventative measure.
And while home breast exams are helpful and should be done right after the shower — experts say a mammogram is the only imaging screening test that can help reduce breast cancer.
So ladies, here are 3 times when you should book a mammogram before the age of 40.
Breast Cancer Runs In Your Family
Yes, family history matters.
If a first-degree relative has breast cancer – you are at a higher risk.
In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, having only one first degree relative with breast cancer doubles your risk.
Don’t be shy to discuss with your doctor your family history – early detection is key and it just might save your life.
Develop A Baseline
Some experts now recommend women develop a “baseline” mammogram around age 35 – and then continue annual screening starting at 40.
While it’s not talked about as much in the medical community, proponents of the baseline test claim that having this done while a woman is young will help compare a healthy image to others taken down the road should something serious occur.
Make sure to check with your insurance company as not all insurance covers the baseline test.
Unusual Changes To Breasts
As you perform a self breast exam at home, if you notice you suddenly start to feel lumps or pain
Other symptoms of early breast cancer include nipple discharge or pain, swelling of the breast, and skin irritation.
While breast cancer is more common in older women, it can and does still occur in women under the age of 40, although rare.
And ladies – trust your gut.
You know your body, better than any doctor. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.
Mammograms Save Lives
Sure – having your breasts squeezed in a machine with pressure is painful – but it’s a necessary part of being a woman.
According to BreastCancer.Org over 12% of women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
In addition, nearly 42,000 women are expected to die this year alone from breast cancer.
If you have a history of breast cancer or find something during your home exam that just doesn’t seem right – get your mammogram early.
And once you hit 40, make sure you are getting screened every year.
A quick moment of discomfort is worth saving your life.
Do you agree annual mammograms are important?
Have you considered the thought some mammograms should occur in women under the age of 40?
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