Perks of Aging Don’t Always Include Stopping Mammograms
But do our responsibilities expire too? Are we at some point free to say: “No, I’ve outgrown the need to ____”? Maybe a little… maybe it’s ok to alter our behaviors as we age, but health concerns deserve special attention particularly as we age.
The risk for breast cancer increase as we age – it starts increasing at age 40 (remember that special age when mammograms become a priority?) and continues to increase until around the age of 80 when it plateaus, but never goes away. Annual screenings can be truly life-saving because early detection saves lives – and can save lives for women of all ages, including those over 70.
A question we often get is, “When can I stop having my annual mammogram?” That answer isn’t as simple as a set age that works for all. What we do know is that there is no compelling reason to stop after the age of 75; a recent study and others have shown women from 70-90 still benefit from regular screening mammograms. We will find cancers that can’t be felt, we will find them earlier, we will find them when they can be more easily treated – just like in our “younger” patients.
As long as you are healthy and able to, we can confidently say, “Please don’t stop having that mammogram unless your doctor tells you otherwise.”
We want you to enjoy a long and healthy life. We’ll do everything we can to help you achieve that goal, and thank you for letting us help – no matter what your age.
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