According to Healthline, "About two out of three invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older, but breast cancer can also affect younger women. About 11% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age" (Nall, 2020) . Therefore, screening is essential for women in their 40s to detect breast cancer early on.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends biennial mammography screening for women between the ages of 50 and 74, and the American Cancer Society recommends the same screening for women 45 to 54 years old. However, "women in their 40s should talk with their doctor about when to start and how often to have mammography" (Nall, 2020).
The American College of Radiology recommends annual mammogram screening for women at the age of 40 due to the increased risk of developing breast cancer. Regular mammograms are a proven method of detecting breast cancer early on, often before a lump can be felt. This is important because "Early detection of breast cancer can make treatment more effective and increase the chances of survival" (Nall, 2020).
In addition to mammograms, women in their 40s should be vigilant about any changes in their breast tissue and report them to their healthcare provider immediately. Self-examinations should be done regularly at home to detect any lumps or changes in the breast tissue. Women should also inform their healthcare provider if they have a family history of breast cancer as it may affect screening recommendations.
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