Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. In fact, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Early detection is key. The best way to screen for breast cancer is with a yearly mammogram, which is a low dose x-ray picture of the breast. While a mammogram won’t find every cancer, regular mammograms are the best test doctors have to find breast cancer early. Finding breast cancer early reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 35 percent.

When to Get a Mammogram

Different health experts have different recommendations for women who have no symptoms of breast cancer:

  • The American Cancer Society recommends screening be an option for women who are at average risk, starting at age 40.
  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening every two years for women ages 50 to 74.

Myths and Facts

There are a lot of myths out there about mammograms that may scare or discourage some women from getting one. Don’t be afraid. Mammography is a relatively quick procedure, less than 20 minutes, and discomfort is minimal for most women. The procedure is safe. Learn more about mammogram myths and facts from the FDA.

Schedule Your Mammogram

Annual mammograms need to be scheduled in advance. We recommend scheduling it on your birthday month, so you won’t forget. If it’s time for your yearly mammogram, call San Juan Regional Medical Center at 505.609.6228 to schedule your appointment. We offer 3D mammography, the most advanced medical technology for early detection of breast cancer. To learn more about our mammography services, visit us online at

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