Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland Spring/Summer 2016 - page 10

8
Say You Saw It in the Senior Citizen’s Guide to Cleveland
Health
|
Article
Mammograms Remain an
Important Screening for Women
Should Continue for Every Two Years Up Until Age 74
There has been a lot of confusion in the media lately
regarding when and how often a woman should get a
mammogram to check for breast cancer. But for older
women, it’s simple: Women ages 50 to 74 should get a
mammogram at least every two years. Even women 74
and older may want to continue getting a mammogram
every two years, depending on their health and
doctor’s recommendation.
Breast cancer occurs when cells within the breast
tissue divide and grow abnormally and is the most
common cancer in American women. An estimated 2.8
million women are currently living with breast cancer in
the United States. It can be deadly, accounting for about
40,000 deaths in 2013.
Mammography screening helps identify breast cancer
early before there are symptoms, which increases the
chances of better outcomes with treatment. The five-
year survival rate for people who discovered breast
cancer when it was still “localized” is nearly 99 percent.
The risks of getting breast cancer increase as women
age. One out of eight invasive breast cancers are found
in women under age 45. In women 55 and older, that
number jumps to two out of three breast cancers.
Mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of
dying from breast cancer by 35 percent in women
over the age of 50. Medicare covers the cost of a
mammogram screening once every 12 months.
Mammograms aren’t perfect, but they are the best
tool we have in detecting breast cancer early when
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