Breast Cancer Screening

Early detection is an important factor in breast cancer treatment

The type and frequency of breast cancer screening that is best for you changes as you age. Talk with your doctor about how often you should have a breast exam, and when you should start having mammograms.

Ages 20 to 39

Some experts recommend that women have a clinical breast exam every 3 years, starting at age 20. Talk with your doctor about how often you should have one. If you have a high risk for developing breast cancer, talk to your doctor about when to begin having routine mammograms and other screening tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Ages 40 and Older

For women at average risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends a screening mammogram every 2 years for women ages 50 to 74. For women ages 40 to 49, the balance of benefits and harms isn't as clear. Your doctor can help you understand the balance in your specific case. The Task Force says the decision to start regular screening before age 50 should be an individual one. It should be based on a woman's values, her health history, and what she prefers.

A Note About Coverage

On most plans, preventive care is covered in full. This means you pay no copayment, coinsurance, or deductible for preventive care. You may receive non-preventive services during a routine visit that do require a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible. If you have any questions regarding whether a specific service is considered preventive, please check your benefit document or call Member Services at the number listed on your member ID card.

Learn more about breast cancer screening.

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