Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. One in every eight women in the United States develops breast cancer. There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading (metastasizing) to other body tissues. The causes of breast cancer are not yet fully known although a number of risk factors have been identified. There are many different types of breast cancer. Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (the extent of spread in the body).
According to the American Cancer society:
- Over 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed each year.
- Nearly 40,000 women are expected to die of breast cancer in 2013.
- There are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- The recommendations regarding frequency and age when women should get screening mammography differ slightly between different organizations and task forces.
- Between 40 and 50 years of age, mammograms are recommended every 1 to 2 years (National Cancer Institute). After 50 years of age, yearly mammograms are recommended (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force).
- You should discuss with your health care professional the screening frequency that he or she recommends and what guidelines they follow.
- Patients with a family history or specific risk factors might have a different screening schedule including starting screening mammograms at an earlier age.