I recently had a routine mammogram which thank goodness, was just fine. While at the imaging center the mammogram technician asked me why I had skipped several years since my last one and quite honestly, I for some reason had thought the guidelines had changed a bit and that I didn’t need a yearly test. (And I admit, I had skipped a few years of regular physicals too, which is ignorant on my part since our insurance pays for those.)
Anyway, once I got home I did a bit of research, knowing there had been some “controversy” as to how often you should be screened and I found an article from last year with three different time recommendations and the final “thoughts” on it. I then went to the American Cancer Society site to see what they said and to also look at other early detection cancer screenings they recommended women of my age should consider having.
Of course if you are seeing your doctor for a yearly physical, and they know your family health history and what particular risks you may have, they most likely are scheduling you for the correct tests. But if you’re curious, haven’t seen a doctor in a while, or just want to do some research yourself, here are the American Cancer Society recommendations for the various early detection cancer screenings and when to have them.
Screenings don’t guarantee you won’t get cancer and yes, you can get false results but overall, they increase the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely curable.
If you’re curious about the difference in opinions on mammograms I was talking about, here’s the article I was referring to.