In 2020, I want to be more proactive about my health.
Doing a self exam regularly is such a good practice for many reasons, including that mammographies miss about 10 percent of breast cancer. Breastcancer.org has instructions, as does the National Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition to doing monthly self-exams, which familiarize you with the landscape of your breasts so it’s easier to identify oddities that may signal cancer, please don’t skip your mammogram.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force did a meta-analysis, combining the results from six studies and found that getting a regular mammogram reduced the risk of dying from breast cancer by 14 percent for women 50-59, and 33 percent for women 60-69.
Recommendations about how often you should get one vary. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women 50-69 at average risk get one every two years, while the American Cancer Society recommends mammography every year for women ages 50-54 and every 2 years for women ages 55 and older. It’s best to talk to your medical professional about what they recommend, since that person knows you and your history.