Mammography is the most successful screening imaging modality in breast health. Since the inception of routine, screening mammography, breast cancer mortality has significantly decreased. The purpose of breast imaging is to identify 'lesions' that require biopsy. Patient survival from breast cancer diangosed as a result of "routine screening mammography" is much higher than those patients who present with a physical finding, such as a lump/mass or nipple discharge. Screening mammogram is the crucial first step towards ensuring that early detection will increase one's chances of surviving breast cancer.
Generally speaking, according the the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, American Society of Breast Surgeons, screening mammography, should begin at age 40 years, and, then yearly. This timing and frequency is changing, however, and, in the future, will likely be tailored to a patients risk.