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Mammograms represent the best option of detecting breast cancer early

GEHA | October 8, 2020

Women's health
Women who find breast cancer early are less likely to need aggressive treatment.

The U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce recommends women between the ages of 50 and 74 get a mammogram every two years. GEHA covers this screening at 100%.

A mammogram is a low-dosage X-ray of the breast that can help detect cancer. Research and results from the American Cancer Society show that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to detect breast cancer early, therefore less likely to need aggressive treatment.

GEHA also covers 3D mammography. This newer type of screening allows doctors to see breast tissue more clearly in three dimensions, lowering the need of follow-up testing. A 3D mammogram may also be more helpful for women with dense breasts.

Mammograms may be uncomfortable for some women, but the discomfort is short lived and a worthwhile trade-off for the benefits of discovering cancer early. If you’ve had discomfort at a previous mammogram, be sure to bring this up before the procedure. The technician performing the exam may be able to position you more comfortably.

Women without a family history of breast cancer or who perform self-breast exams are also recommended to get a mammogram.

In some cases, your primary care provider or OB/GYN may need to provide a referral for this screening. If you don’t have a primary care physician, you can use our Find Care tool to find an in-network provider and/or a radiology facility.

“What is Breast Cancer?”, Centers for Disease Control, 11 September, 2018.
“Mammogram Basics.”, American Cancer Society, 5 March, 2020.
“What Does the Doctor Look For on a Mammogram?”, American Cancer Society, 3 October, 2019.
“Tips for Getting a Mammogram.”, American Cancer Society, 3 October, 2019.