Health care professional discusses importance of annual mammogram screenings

The American College of Radiology and Saline Breast Imagery recommends starting screenings annually at the age of 40.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - After the recent passing of Olivia Newton-John, discussion of breast cancer and the importance of mammogram screenings is at the forefront of our minds.

Health care organizations across the country have talked about how COVID and other stressors have caused people to skip or delay regular checkups and screenings.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd in Longview can attest to this issue, as they see patients catch up after the pandemic.

“We have patients that skip their screenings and have come in and now have more advanced cancer than it would have been had they kept their screening earlier,” says Dr. KiAnn Hardee, MD, a breast fellowship trained radiologist.

But, Dr. Hardee says it is necessary to get back in the habit of attending annual screenings in order to detect early signs of breast cancer.

She says, “A screening mammogram is the one thing that has been shown to decrease mortality and deaths from breast cancer. The American College of Radiology and Society Breast Imagery recommends starting annually at the age of 40. The reason for that is, at the age of 40 most lives are saved.”

According to Dr. Hardee, one in six of those diagnosed with breast cancer will be in-patients from the ages of 40 to 49.

If you skip your yearly screenings after the age of 50, it is possible to miss 30 percent of those breast cancers.

“If we can reduce the chance of you dying from it, it’s worth coming in to get it done,” says Dr. Hardee.

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