- For Patients

New Public Service Announcement Campaign Helps Clear Confusion on When, Where and How Often Women Should Get Mammograms

October 2, 2013

MammographySavesLives.orgMammography Saves Lives™ website helps women find an accredited mammography center near them

Reston, Va — To clear confusion, reduce unnecessary breast cancer deaths and help women avoid extensive treatment for undetected advanced cancers, the Mammography Saves Lives™ (MSL) coalition has launched a new series of TV and radio public service announcements (PSAs) to empower women, 40-and-older, to take charge of their health by getting an annual mammogram at a mammography center near them.

"Despite the fact that mammography has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate by more than 30 percent since 1990, and every major medical organization experienced in breast cancer recommends annual mammograms for women 40-and-older, many women are confused regarding when, or even if, they should get a mammogram. I strongly urge women to get annual mammograms starting at age 40. And I ask TV and radio stations nationwide to help us save lives by running these potentially lifesaving PSAs," said Barbara S. Monsees, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Commission. 

The PSAs, featuring a physician and breast cancer survivor, diagnosed in her 40s by mammography, urge women to begin getting an annual mammogram at age 40 and refer them to where they can:

  • Find an accredited mammography facility near them
  • Access scientific information regarding breast density, and how it affects mammograms and breast cancer diagnosis
  • Hear leading breast cancer experts separate fact from myth and explain why they still recommend annual mammograms for women 40-and-older

"All women can benefit from screening mammograms beginning at age 40. More than three-quarters of the women diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s have no family history or other factors that place them at high-risk for the disease. In fact, 1 in 5 breast cancers occur in women ages 40–49. I urge women to seek out information regarding the benefits and limitations of mammograms, and together with their health care provider, set out a schedule regarding when to get their mammogram," said Jean M. Lynn, MPH, RN, OCN, president of the American Society of Breast Disease.

The MSL campaign, a coalition of not-for-profit, 501(C)(3) medical associations dedicated to improving breast cancer care, is comprised of the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging and the American Society of Breast Disease.

"While we have saved and continue to save a significant number of women through mammography, a great many more breast cancer deaths could be avoided if more women would choose to begin annual screening at age 40. By not getting a yearly mammogram after age 40, women increase their odds of dying from breast cancer.  And if cancer is found in women who have not had regular screening, the treatment is more likely to be more extensive and expensive than if found earlier by a mammogram," said Murray Rebner, MD, FACR, president of the Society of Breast Imaging.

PSAs can be downloaded at