19 Medical Tests Everyone Needs

The USPSTF recommends mammograms every two years for women at average risk of breast cancer from age 50 to 74. The ACOG recommends getting your first mammogram no later than 50, and the ACS recommends annual screening starting at 45—and earlier if you have risk factors like a family history. “Beginning this early saves thousands of lives,” says Elisa Port, MD, chief of breast surgery and director of the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.


When to get it: More and more, guidelines suggest making a shared decision with your doctor about when to start breast cancer screening. If you’re at high risk for breast cancer (for example, you have a BRCA gene mutation), you should be screened annually with both a mammogram and an MRI.


Cost: $150 to $375. Insurance pays in full for a screening mammo every one to two years for women 40-plus. However, if you’ve previously had cancer or have a strong family history, it may be considered a diagnostic exam and you’ll have to pay your deductible and co-pay or co-insurance. Note: Most insurers don’t cover 3-D mammograms, so if you get one you may have to pay $40 to $60 on top of the cost of a regular mammo.

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