Too young for a mammogram? Breast cancer runs in my family, and I'm really concerned about my own health. I'm only 17 - is it too early to get a mammogram?

It is too young. for a screening mammogram, but not too young for a risk profile if you have a strong family history. Has anyone in your family been tested for the BRCA gene? Sometimes screening begins in the 20s for BRCA carriers or other very high risk individuals.
Yes. 17 is probably too young. If you are concerned about an area, you may consider an ultrasound. Generally i recommend that women with a family history start getting mammograms 5 to 10 years younger than the when the family member was diagnosed with breast cancer, or age 40; whichever comes first.
Most likely yes. Mammograms become less accurate in women below forty and typically an ultrasound is the first imaging technique used. But there may be times when a physician will order a mammogram on a younger person. The important thing is to maintain regular follow-up with your primary care so your risk can be accessed and appropriate screening can be initiated.
Yes, . Yes, it is too early for you to get a mammogram. At this age, focus on self breast exams and familiarize yourself with the way your breasts feel so that you can notice if a lump develops in the future. Mammograms in young females are often extremely difficult to interpret because the breast tissue is so dense it hides most lesions. Screening for breast cancer using mammography starts at age 40. If you have a sister or mother who were diagnosed with breast cancer when they were younger than 50 years of age, then screening with breast MRI and genetic testing may be indicated.

Related Questions

I have fibrocystic breasts and I only get mammograms and ultrasounds every 2 years. Is this enough? I am 34 with no family history of breast cancer.

More than enough. There is controversy about mammography and some doubt that routine mammography reduces breast cancer mortality. What you are doing is more than recommended by preventive services task force. You may consult this site for more info: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/712473. Read more...

I have a family history of breast cancer and would like to know when my mammograms should start?

Probably at 50. Starting mammograms at 50 has been shown to save lives. There has been debate to start at 40, but the fact that the disease does not show up much before 50, mammograms don't often detect cancer before 50, and that no clinical study has proven this to save lives if started at 40 has, so far, kept the age at 50. Many still think 40 should be the starting point. Read more...
Earlier than 40. It depends- how strong a family history, if other family members have been tested positive for the brca 1 or 2 gene mutations help guide when screening mammograms should start, or for considering genetic counseling. Read more...
Age 40 is usual. The recommended age for start of mammography screening is 40 years. You should discuss your family history with your doctor to see if variation from the recommended practice is warranted. Read more...

Mammogram showed "scattered fibroglandular densities." What does that mean? I am 71 years old. No family history of breast cancer.

Breast composition. The breast is made up of fibrous , fat and glandular tissue normally. As aging progresses, the fat tends to diminish and the other two tissues become more prominent. If there were no known suspicious densities noted (lumps) then this report may be normal. Ask your MD who ordered the test, and by the way, most breast cancers today have no family history of the same. Read more...