when do you have first mammogram

  1. Ok. I can only think to post this question here. I was at the doc last year and she told me that I was due for my first mammogram at my next visit (which is just now coming up) My appointment is not until JUNE but I am only 19. I will be 20 by then. My doctor said that she likes to do the first one at age 20 then 25, 30, 35, 40, and then I think it is every year or two ..anyway. When does everyone in here doctors do this? I think that it is a good idea. I would rather just know and have them looked at. I go to the doctor for everything. I am one of those people that would rather know then not. I am a big breasted girl and have always been worried about my breast. The only reason I am asking is because my husband's step mom kind of got mad and was real rude about me having my first one and she has never even had one (at the fault of her own). She said well my daughter has not had one yet and she is 18 but she has never even been to the gyno to be looked at and have a pap. What does everyone here think? thank
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    About GAstudent

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 181


  3. by   KnitRN
    In the absence of other risk factors, twenty seems rather early for a first mammogram. My insurance company (cigna) doesn't reimburse for routine mammograms until after ager forty.
  4. by   ChainedChaosRN
    I had a good friend with breast ca in her 20's. Do it...why not? My mother had breast ca at 38. I've had yearly ones since 35...I now have them every 6 months due to cysts that they have been unable to get enough of by needle biopsy.

    Sounds like your MD is thorough...more should be.
  5. by   renerian
    My dr. said 40 was normal. You might want to check and see if your insurance will pay for one so early. Some will, some won't. Seems like a good idea though since alot of breast CAs come before the age of 40. My SIL was diagnosed with breast CA at 36.It was found during a routine mamo.

  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have not had mine yet but absent risk factors, most doctors will recommend a first mammogram at 40. And most HMO's won't pay for it sooner unless it is considered warranted specially (risk factors, like mentioned).
  7. by   gwenith
    My memory is not perfect but I seem to recall that there was a controversy over exposing women to mamograms younger than 40 unless there was indicaiton for it. There was an article in the April 5 New Scientist casting doubts on the current standards of "safe" x-rays since finding that cells who have had DNA damage from low dose X-rays do not repair themselves as had been previously thought. If you log onto www.newscientist.com you might find the full article.
  8. by   GAstudent
    Thanks for the replies. I know that I am going to go on and have one. We have cancer run in our family. I think it is a good idea just to check. Can they check in any other way other then just a mammogram? I just want to know. Yes my insurance covers it..most due at her office because she gives letters to insurance that it is needed.
  9. by   CCL"Babe"
    Good. I had written a longish reply when the BB went down for editing. The meat of it: if you have fibercystic disease, family hx, insurance usually covers it. My SIL was in her twenties when she got breast CA. Nobody thought she could have it. Her doc misdiagnosed her as fibercystic disease for a few years before ordering the mamo. By that time it was too late.
  10. by   rreed
    my doctor said to do my first at 35 for a base line, then my next will be at age 40.

  11. by   GailWHNP
    Am Assn of OB-Gyn and Am CA Assn recommend first screening manogram in a woman with NO RISK be at 40 years of age . . . followed by one every 2 years unless there are risk factors, then every year. For women at risk, mammograms are recommended earlier; however, I don't think there is consesus on what is considered "earlier" (I've most frequently heard age 35). Breast tissue is quite dense until around 35-40 years, so an ultrasound would probably also be in order.

    One can have testing done to see if they carry the gene identified with breast cancer (BRAC1 and BRAC2).

    Keep in mind mammograms are not perfect; therefore, it is extremely important to perform monthly self breast exam and to have clinical exam every 1-2 yrs, depending of risk.

    If you decide to have the mammogram, schedule it one week after your period so your breasts will not be so tender. Usually, too, fibrocystic breast lumps are not as prominent.