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Every woman is at risk for breast cancer, and her risks increase with age. Three-quarters of all breast cancers occur in women over 50. 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no special risk factors, which includes no family history.
Mammograms are the most effective tool used to diagnose breast cancer. They are used both in early detection for women experiencing no symptoms and as a diagnostic tool for women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge.
Annual screening mammography starting at age 40 results in the greatest mortality reduction, the most lives saved, and the most life years gained. That is why the American College of Radiology and the Society of Brest Imagin recommend regular mammography in women 40 and older.