Breast cancer screening saves lives. Recently, there have been conflicting reports when women should start annual screening mammograms.

Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recommends annual breast examinations and screening mammograms starting at the age of 40 for women with average breast cancer risks. Women with family histories or greater risks should begin earlier. These women need to discuss these parameters with their doctor.

Data suggests that anneal screening results in a fewer women dying from breast cancer. It is also important for women to discuss with their doctor ways to reduce their cancer risks by losing weight or avoiding weight gain, following a healthy diet and exercising.

Guidelines for women with breast implants are the same. The risks for breast cancer does not differ in women with breast implants compared to other women. Women who already have breast implants should always inform the mammography technician that they have breast implants when they go in for their exam. In addition to the normal four radiographs performed during mammography, an additional four views or Erklund/implant displacement views are taken to help view the breast tissue. It is also important to have a recent mammogram if you are of age, before performing any cosmetic breast surgery.