If you’re in your 40s and want to have a screening mammogram, your options will depend on where you live.
Organized screening programs offer cancer screening to specific groups of people through an organized program, usually by province or territory. For example, all organized breast screening programs in Canada specifically screen women 50 to 69 years old for breast cancer using mammograms. Some organized screening programs will accept women outside this age range as well.
At the moment, some organized screening programs will not accept women aged 40 to 49 into their program since the benefits of screening in this age group are still unclear.
If the organized screening program in your province or territory accepts women in their 40s, contact them or ask your doctor to ask how you can get into the program. An organized screening program will make sure that certain quality standards are met and that there is appropriate follow-up on test results.
If the organized screening program in your province or territory does not accept women in their 40s, you will need to go outside an organized breast screening program. (This is sometimes called ad hoc or opportunistic screening.) Talk to your doctor about the best way to get a mammogram at a place that is accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists.