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How to Untangle Conflicting Mammogram Advice

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Stephanie Nichols is a stay-at-home mom in Boston. She’s 44 now and says she first thought about getting a mammogram when she turned 40.

“I had heard from a number of friends all around the same age that they’re all getting mammograms,” she says. So it came as no surprise when her doctor brought up the topic at her next routine exam.

But what was surprising, she says, was that, after discussing family history and personal health, her doctor determined that because Nichols was not at high risk for getting breast cancer, it was probably too soon to get that first scan. Together, they decided to postpone her first mammogram screening test until she was 45.

Nichols says she felt comfortable with that decision, “knowing that my risk for breast cancer was low compared to the risk of having to have more invasive procedures such as biopsies or lumpectomies.”

KQED

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