Question: I turned 40 this year, and I'm still breastfeeding. Should I get a yearly mammogram?
Karen Prior responds: It is recommended that women get annual mammograms after age 40. These annual screenings are usually done to try to detect early lumps or soft tissue changes. But during lactation, it can be very difficult to detect these early signs. If you have a known lump, a mammogram while you’re still lactating can be effective in determining the size and location of the lump.
There are two factors that can affect the quality of a mammogram on a lactating breast: how often your baby nurses, and the size of your milk supply. Nursing before the test and emptying the breast as much a possible can improve the quality of the mammogram.
I suggest talking with your health care provider to decide if you should have a mammogram while you are still lactating. If you decide you do need one, look for a radiologist with experience reading the mammograms of breastfeeding women.