Any Day is the Best Day to Schedule Your Annual Mammogram

Author: McLaren Flint

With mammography screenings decreasing in the past couple of years, emphasis is being placed on reminding women of the importance of getting their annual screening mammogram not just during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) but all year round.

A new survey by the Prevent Cancer Foundation has reported that 49% of American women 40 and older reveal they have not had a breast cancer screening in over two years. Of these women, 57% have never had a breast cancer screening or have not had a breast cancer screening in six or more years. Women of average risk should begin breast cancer screenings at age 40 and continue to get screened annually.

It’s certainly something that concerns clinicians like Linda Lawrence, MD, board-certified radiologist and medical director at the McLaren Flint Imaging Center, and Ashley Richardson, DO, a breast surgical oncologist at McLaren Flint.

“Patients delaying their screenings causes delays in diagnosis,” said Dr. Lawrence. “This is why it’s so important to receive your mammogram annually. We have the latest technology for a clear picture of breast tissue, leading to earlier detections of cancer, which in turn leads to better outcomes.”

That equipment includes both 3D mammography and MRI available at the McLaren Flint Imaging Center and McLaren Fenton. The 3D mammography technology used is clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, while simultaneously decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing. It is also the only 3D mammography exam approved by the FDA as superior for women with dense breasts. MRI technology can be used in conjunction with a mammogram for women who are at high risk for breast cancer. For those already diagnosed with cancer, it can help measure tumor size and check for other tumors in both breasts.

New treatments and improved screenings are beneficial in preventing deaths from cancer. Significant strides in cancer treatments, diagnostic tools, and prevention strategies continue to drive down death rates from all cancer types, according to a report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Death rates from cancer have been falling over the past two decades, particularly sharply in recent years, the group's annual Cancer Progress Report found. As a result, there are now more than 18 million cancer survivors in the U.S. — up from 3 million in 1971.

“It’s wonderful to hear reports like the AACRs but their most recent data on decreased cancer-related deaths is only current through 2019,” said Dr. Richardson. “My observation as a physician is what the Prevent Cancer Foundation is finding with far too many women not getting a mammogram since the start of COVID. Like Dr. Lawrence, I highly encourage women to catch up on a missed mammogram; we want everyone to have the best outcome possible.”

McLaren Flint Imaging Center, McLaren Flint-MRI, and McLaren Fenton are American College of Radiology (ACR) accredited facilities. Every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.

Women 40 and over should be receiving routine breast mammograms. If you have a strong history of breast cancer, especially a first-degree relative who has had the disease, you should have your first mammogram ten years before the age that relative was diagnosed.

Learn more about McLaren Flint and McLaren Fenton’s 3D mammography exams and schedule your appointment online today at