Last Updated: October 21, 2015By Tags: , , ,

NPR this week, tackled the difficult issue of determining when to get a mammogram. Is it at 40 or 45 or more often or sooner?

In the case of Stephanie Nichols, a 44-year-old stay at home mom in Boston, she first thought about getting a mammogram when she turned 40.

But what was surprising, she says, was that, after discussing family history and personal health, her doctor determined that because Nichols was not at high risk for getting breast cancer, it was probably too soon to get that first scan. Together, they decided to postpone her first mammogram screening test until she was 45.

Nichols says she felt comfortable with that decision, “knowing that my risk for breast cancer was low compared to the risk of having to have more invasive procedures such as biopsies or lumpectomies.”

The American Cancer Society now recommends that instead of getting the first screen at 40, women who don’t have an increased risk for breast cancer can start the screening later – at age 45.

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