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Breast cancer screening in your 40s
Science tells us that regular mammography to screen for breast cancer is most beneficial for women aged 50 to 69. The benefits for women under 50 are still unclear. Many women in their 40s are interested in going for mammograms early – after all, if they’re good to have in your 50s, why not in your 40s? Start by talking to your doctor about the risks and benefits of regular screening with mammography. Be sure to talk about your family or personal history of the disease. Your history may mean you should start testing earlier or get tested more often.
Women in their 40s should be able to have mammograms at organized screening programs if they are referred by a doctor or a nurse practitioner. Screening programs should have additional resources to make sure that women in their 40s can use these services without affecting mammograms for women aged 50 to 69, where we know that screening is most effective.