No Routine Breast Screen for under 40s
If you are under 40 and want to be screened for breast cancer forget it unless you have the extra bucks to pay for it outside of a recognised state program.
Many younger women feel that they should be able to access such programs but experts say that there is no evidence that routine screening of women younger than 40 increases detection of cancer significantly.
Some women dread turning 40 but Leisa Babineau was relieved.
The Parrsboro woman can now get routine mammograms to screen for breast cancer, a disease that claimed her mother’s life six years ago.
“Thank God I’m 40, because now I have the right to have a test done that I should have been having for years,” she said Monday.
The Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program, which as of last month includes all 11 mammography sites and three mobile units in Nova Scotia, recommends women aged 40 to 49 and have no symptoms of breast cancer should have mammograms every year.
The guidelines, developed by the Canadian Association of Radiologists, say healthy women aged 50 to 69 should have the tests every two years.
Those rules effectively mean there is no way for a younger woman to have a routine mammogram, which is meant to detect breast cancer at an early stage, Ms. Babineau said.