Recent changes in mammogram guidelines revealed that screenings are not one-size-fits-all.
For years, knowing when to get a mammogram was easy. The American Cancer Society recommended (and continues to recommend) that beginning at age 40, women should get this breast cancer screening test every year, and that is the advice doctors generally followed. However, after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force came out with different recommendations in 2009, when to begin screening mammograms became a source of confusion for patients and doctors alike.
In November 2009, the task force released its recommendations on breast cancer screening, which said that women should have screening mammograms biennially — every two years — from ages 50 to 74. (It did not have enough evidence to determine if mammograms are helpful to women 75 and older.) As for women younger than age 50, the group said this was an individual decision that should be made in conjunction with a woman’s doctor and depending on a woman’s family history, feelings on the subject, and other considerations.
Logic would lead people to think that the more often they’re screened, the safer they are, but according to Dr. Esserman, many of the interventions used to find and treat cancer have no significant benefit.
In fact, more than 50 percent of women with breast cancer in their thirties and forties found their cancers by feeling a lump and therefore would not have benefitted from a mammogram. Even for some cancers detected via mammography, their growth may have been so rapid that there would have been little time between the screening test and their discovery during a breast self-exam.
What about breast cancers that were detected on a mammogram but were slow-growing? Even if they weren't discovered until the lump was big enough to feel, it may not have changed the course of the disease. http://www.everydayhealth.com/breast-cancer/mammogram-guidelines-revisited.aspx?
here is a link to susun's chapter on mammograms in her book, BREAST CANCER? BREAST HEALTH! the Wise Woman Way