An annual mammogram and a clinical breast exam are the best defense against breast cancer. Make a promise to yourself to get your annual mammogram and remind the women you love to do the same. Our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends are too precious to lose to breast cancer. Early detection with a yearly mammogram, annual clinical breast exam and monthly breast self-exam are the best defenses against breast cancer.

This year, nearly a quarter of a million women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, women who schedule regular mammograms are more likely to detect the disease in its early stages.

Age recommendations for when mammogram screenings should start continue to be debated by medical professionals, but Hannah Hazard, MD, surgeon-in-chief and director of clinical services at the WVU Cancer Institute, says your risk level is a key factor for when you need to begin getting mammograms.

“I tell women who are at average risk for breast cancer that they need yearly mammograms starting at age 40,” Dr. Hazard said. “For women who are at high risk for breast cancer due to family history or because they possess a breast cancer gene, the mammogram guidelines are very different and those guidelines should be discussed with a woman’s primary care provider or someone who specializes in breast cancer treatment.”

If a close relative – mother, sister, or daughter – has been diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age (under 50), your risk of developing the disease increases.

Don’t delay – ask your family physician if it’s time for your mammogram. 3D mammography is the best way to detect breast tumors with clearer images and fewer additional tests. The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center are the only healthcare facilities that offer 3D mammography in north central West Virginia.

Make an appointment: 855-WVU-CARE