A mammogram is one of the best tools available to detect breast cancer. However, data from medical research organization Medco reveals most women are not getting screened as often as recommended.
According to a review of medical claims data, only half of women over the age of 40 received a yearly mammogram. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute began recommending yearly screenings in 1997.
Breast cancer specialist Dr. Marisa Weiss says regular screening is essential.
"Mammography detects 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in asymptomatic women; so while it is not a perfect detection tool, it's the best we currently have for saving lives and finding cancers at an early stage so that less toxic and traumatic treatments are required," says Weiss.
Those who are in remission from cancer may find themselves paying higher life insurance premiums due to the risk of relapse. While the exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the likelihood of many major conditions.