5 Reasons Why You Need a Mammogram Every Year

Published: October 21, 2021

By Stamford Health’s Breast Center Team

You’ve already been told when it comes to breast cancer, early detection is critical. Read below to find out why it’s crucial to stick to a screening mammogram once a year.

  1. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.3 women in 40s, diverse, walking and laughing

    1 in 8 women have a chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. That's why the American College of Radiology strongly recommends women over 40 at average risk for breast cancer get a screening mammogram once a year. The American Cancer Society shares the same recommendations for women aged 40-54.
  2. Your chance of breast cancer increases as you get older.

    Your PCP or gynecologist will tell you this over and over again if you ask them why you should get a mammogram. It’s true.
  3. A normal mammogram last year is great, but doesn't tell this year's story.

    Let us be clear—this is good news. Breast self-checks throughout the year are also smart. But you need a mammogram every year to increase the chance of detecting even the smallest of cancers when they’re most treatable and beatable.
  4. Drinking any amount of alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer. 

    Yes, there is a link between drinking and breast cancer. The more you drink, the more likely you are to develop breast cancer. (And no, vodka is not “healthier” than wine, nor is red wine a better choice than white wine when it comes to your breast health. Ethanol is ethanol.) Just one drink a week can increase your risk by 2%. Two drinks a day, so say two glasses of wine a night with dinner, can increase your risk by 28%. Nowhere near cigarettes and lung cancer, but still significant.
  5. Early detection improves your chances of positive breast cancer outcomes.

    Remember, mammograms are not prevention-- detection is prevention. The sooner something is detected via a mammogram, the better. If breast cancer is detected early on, the more likely you are to beat cancer and thrive. 

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