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Mammogram While Nursing
August 2002

Q. I'm 36 years old and scheduled to have a mammogram. I still nurse my 19-month-old son. Do I put my son at risk by having the mammogram?

A. Mammograms have become a very useful test in the diagnosis and detection of breast cancer. There are areas of disagreement among doctors as to the exact guidelines to follow. In general, a first mammogram is done at age 40, advised to repeat every 2 years, and yearly after age 50. A strong family history of breast cancer or additional risk factors may lead to starting mammograms at an earlier age. The test is generally not done while breast feeding as the breasts are engorged with milk and the test is then hard to interpret. Clarify with your doctor why the test is requested at your age and while nursing.



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