Who Should Get Screened for Breast Cancer?

From the supermarket shelves to the TV commercials, you’re probably well aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While funding research and learning more about this cancer is important for both men and women, perhaps the single most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself by getting screened!

This month, doctors at Nashville’s St. Thomas Medical Group are encouraging women ages 40 and older to get their annual screening mammograms. (See below for details. Talk to your doctor to learn more about screening recommendations based on your personal and family history).

Breast Cancer Facts

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)…

  • “Breast cancer accounts for 30% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in women.”
  • “In the United States, a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 12% (one in eight).”
  • “It is estimated that 252,710 new cases of breast cancer, resulting in 40,610 deaths, will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2017.”

While these are sobering facts, there is good news. Breast cancer mortality rates have plummeted significantly in the last half-century. For example, while women had a five-year survival rate of 75% in 1975, the current five-year survival rate is 90%.


This major step forward can largely be attributed to earlier detection and better treatments. Early detection is key when it comes to breast cancer, which is why physicians at St. Thomas Medical Group encourage the following breast cancer screening recommendations.

Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

The American Cancer Society offers the following breast cancer screening recommendations:

  • Women age 40-44: Consider beginning annual breast cancer screening with mammogram.
  • Women age 45-54: Annual mammograms recommended.
  • Women 55+: Continue annual screening or switch to every other year. This practice should continue for as long as a woman is in good health and expects to live 10 years or more.
  • All women: Talk to your doctor to learn more about the benefits, limitations and potential harms associated with routine screening mammography.

Get Screened at St. Thomas Medical Group

To schedule your next screening mammogram, contact St. Thomas Medical Group by calling +1 (615) 297-2700.