Breast cancer screenings don’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming- Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) that may help!


When should you start screening for breast cancer?

Some women choose to start annual screenings between ages 40 to 44. Women age 45-54 should get mammograms each year. Women age 55 and older should have mammograms every two years. See more information here.


  • What happens in a breast cancer screening?

During a screening, a woman is examined for signs of breast cancer before she has symptoms. The intention is to be proactive and catch the cancer early if the woman has it. Typically, the screening is done via mammogram (x-ray exam).


  • How long does a screening take?

The entire screening should be over within 30 minutes, with the mammogram taking just a few minutes.


  • Is breast cancer screening safe?

Breast cancer screening via mammography poses only a small risk of radiation-induced breast cancer for most women.



American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center