Mammograms are potentially life-saving screenings that can detect breast cancer in its early stages, when it’s most treatable. While this diagnostic tool is helpful for people of all ages, there has been some debate on when women can stop getting tested. In many cases, screenings are recommended no matter the age, but some instances bring additional considerations. If you have an aging loved one, use the guide below to understand how to help them stay on top of their health.
Why Do Some Women Stop Getting Mammograms?
Many women begin to abandon some of their preventive health care practices due to overall declining health. Other conditions, such as heart disease and chronic pain, might also take priority over preventive screenings.
There are several other obstacles for older adults. For instance, mobility and transportation challenges can make getting to appointments difficult. Financial barriers and a lack of knowledge about the importance of preventive services can also hold women back.
What Are the Recommendations for Older Women?
Breast cancer risk increases for those over the age of 50, so older women are especially good candidates for mammograms. Luckily, Medicare provides coverage for preventive screenings for retired women. The program also assists with medical transportation if mobility is an issue.
Breast cancer can often be treated effectively, particularly when it’s caught early. The American Cancer Society recommends mammography every other year for those aged 55 and older. Testing should continue until around age 75, unless the person develops a life-threatening condition that reduces life expectancy. In this case, the patient should discuss mammograms with their physician to determine whether testing and potential treatment are right for their needs.
If you or a loved one is due for a mammogram, turn to Main Street Radiology for breast cancer screening. Serving Bayside, NY, their radiologists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology. Their digital mammograms are quicker, more comfortable, and emit less radiation. Learn more about their process online, or schedule an appointment by calling (718) 428-1500.