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How often should women 50 and older get screened for breast cancer?

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Experts agree that this is the best way to find breast cancer early. But they don’t all agree on how often you should get one. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says all women between ages 50 and 74 should have a mammogram every 2 years. The American Cancer Society says if you’re over 40, you should get one each year.

Talk with your doctor to find the best schedule for you, based on your family history and other reasons.

SOURCES:

AARP: "What Health Screenings Do You Really Need if You Are Over Age 50?"

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Women: Stay Healthy at 50+."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Statistics."

American Psychological Association: "Aging and Depression."

American Heart Association.

American Cancer Society.

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death."

National Cancer Institute: "General Information About Colon Cancer."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts (Fact Sheet)."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Prevent Cancer Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions: Exactly what is a 'pre-cancerous' polyp? If the polyp is removed, does that mean I am cured?"

John Hopkins University: "Cervical Cancer."

CDC.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Osteoporosis: Screening.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Consumer Guide.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

SOURCES:

AARP: "What Health Screenings Do You Really Need if You Are Over Age 50?"

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Women: Stay Healthy at 50+."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Statistics."

American Psychological Association: "Aging and Depression."

American Heart Association.

American Cancer Society.

CDC: "Leading Causes of Death."

National Cancer Institute: "General Information About Colon Cancer."

National Institute of Mental Health: "Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts (Fact Sheet)."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Prevent Cancer Foundation: "Frequently Asked Questions: Exactly what is a 'pre-cancerous' polyp? If the polyp is removed, does that mean I am cured?"

John Hopkins University: "Cervical Cancer."

CDC.

American Cancer Society: “Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Osteoporosis: Screening.”

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Consumer Guide.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on September 17, 2018

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Why do people 50 and older need colon cancer screening?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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