Screening mammograms are back!

After a brief delay caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, Austin Breast Imaging has resumed full services, including screening 3D mammograms. That’s good news for women who have had to put off their important screening.

You should also know that enhanced protocols are now in place to help ensure patient safety. This includes the option of waiting in your car until called for your mammogram, thorough disinfection of all equipment in between patients, and staff wearing gloves/masks. You can have your test done with confidence here at our outpatient center without being at risk for exposure like you would be at a hospital.

While we’re on the subject, many women have asked what the appropriate starting and ending ages should be for mammographic screening, as well as the recommended frequency. There have been many conflicting news stories on this topic, and even doctors have different opinions. Here’s what we know:

  • The most lives are saved when annual mammograms start at age 40. When breast cancer is found in women in their 40s, it tends to be more aggressive and faster growing. About 20% of breast cancers deaths are women under 50, so we do not recommend waiting until age 50 to have your first mammogram.
  • African American women and Ashkenazi Jews are at a higher risk for certain types of breast cancer, and may develop it earlier. We recommend that these women talk to their doctor about their risk, and may even consider starting mammographic screening earlier than age 40.
  • Since age is one of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer, we do NOT recommend stopping annual screening at age 65. Women in their 60s and 70s benefit greatly from early detection, as it improves outcomes and ensures the greatest number of treatment options.

When was your last mammogram?

Women know how important it is to have regular screening mammograms. This test is a vital and necessary component to a woman’s health and well-being, as early detection remains our best defense against breast cancer. If you are due for your mammogram, we encourage you to call us right away to schedule your appointment!