Mammography Saves Lives

Kelley Allison, MD & Lindy Dunn, MD

This article was first published in the October 2010 issue of the Breast Health Update.

As dedicated fellowship trained breast imagers, who treat and care for breast patients every day, we are obligated to inform you about the real benefits of having your yearly mammogram. There is universal agreement in the medical community that mammography saves lives.

Women who undergo screening mammography decrease their chance of dying from breast cancer by 30%. It may surprise you to know that in 2009 alone, 250 women in their 40’s were diagnosed with breast cancer within the Sentara Network. Over 40% of the years of life lost to breast cancer are among women diagnosed in their 40’s. Mammography continues to be an important test throughout a woman’s life as 25% of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women over the age of 75.

We are dedicated to providing the latest advances in breast imaging and the most accurate and up to date information regarding breast health to women in our community. Screening mammography continues to be an integral part of women’s health. Therefore, we continue to recommend that all women follow the current guidelines on screening as endorsed by the American Cancer Society.

It is a privilege to care for women across the peninsula. We take this task seriously and feel passionately about what we do. We want women to know the facts about their breast health and make the right choice. Take charge of your health.

Confused About Mammograms?

Have the recent Task Force recommendations made you question whether you should have your yearly mammogram?

Screening Guidelines

  • Yearly mammogram at age 40
  • Clinical breast exam every 3 years
  • from 20-40 and yearly after age 40
  • Breast MRI and mammograms every year beginning at age 30 for high-risk women
  • Women at moderate risk (15-20% lifetime risk) should talk with their doctor about adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.


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