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National Mammography Day

National Mammography Day, celebrated on October 18, is a reminder that the best defense in the fight against breast cancer is early detection.

Even if you have no breast health concerns, or changes, lumps in your breasts—and no history of breast cancer in your family—you should still get regular mammograms as directed by your provider. As you get older, your chances of having breast cancer increase, even after menopause.

The American Cancer Society recommends these screenings for women at average breast cancer risk:

  • Women between 40-44 years of age have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women ages 45-54 should get a mammogram every year.
  • Women ages 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year or continue to choose yearly mammograms. Screenings should continue as long as women are in good health.

What can I expect?

Mammograms are the most powerful, effective breast cancer detection tool, able to reduce breast cancer mortality in the U.S. by as much as 40 percent.

Mammograms are low-dose X-rays that help to find breast cancer, and use a machine to look at breast tissue to evaluate lumps, pain, discharge, skin changes, and other abnormalities.

Women over 40 should receive mammograms once a year, and women at high risk should also have annual MRIs to detect cancer before it can be felt.

It’s a fast procedure, typically only 20 minutes, and discomfort is minimal. It’s not scary, and only about two to four screenings of every 1,000 women lead to a breast cancer diagnosis.

Am I considered high risk?

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer, based on the following factors, should typically get an MRI and mammogram every year, starting around age 30:

  • Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer that’s 20-25 percent higher than average
  • Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation based on genetic testing
  • Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and have not had genetic testing
  • Had radiation therapy to the chest between the ages of 10 and 30
  • Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these symptoms

Thriving and surviving

Having support and community is beneficial no matter where you are in treatment for breast cancer, and we know firsthand how resilient and compassionate the Frederick community is.

Join us on October 19, 2022, when Frederick Health is honored to once again host the 16th Annual Breast Cancer Symposium, a free public event to help people cope with the challenges many face following treatment.

Our panel of experts will share advice and updates on genetic testing, how to manage treatment side effects, wellbeing, and more. There will be opportunities to commune, share, and learn together. Come by yourself or bring a friend!

Registration is required as space is limited. For more information, email

Let’s focus on you

To learn more about the importance of breast health and mammograms, check out our Breast Cancer Tool Kit. Need to schedule your annual mammogram? Talk to your provider today. We want you healthy, Frederick.

We’re committed to providing you with a cancer treatment experience that is focused on you.