Women are getting some pretty mixed up messages about mammograms these days: on the one hand we are told that women need to get mammograms regularly from age 40 onwards.
On the other hand we are told that mammograms may do more harm than good, because they are a source of radiation and they also cause women to undergo needless surgery.
We were earlier told that starting at age 40 women should have a mammogram every 2 years.
Now however we are being told that we need to discuss it with our doctor; which is a rather more ambiguous and confusing instruction.
It is also disconcerting that we are being told that mammography is not all that effective after all, and that more testing is not necessarily beneficial, since it could actually cause harm.
So as of now the position appears to be this: women above the age of 40 should definitely talk to their health care provider to gauge their risk and consequent need for performing a mammogram; as also the frequency required.
Meanwhile, if there is any abnormality noticed: a lump in the breast, unusual discharge, changes in skin of the breast, then you do need to hot foot it to the doctors and get that mammogram!