“Many cases of breast cancer that we find are in women who don’t expect anything,” Dr. Nguyen says. “You can have a patient that’s had all normal mammograms to the age of 73, and you think, ‘Well, she’s made it this far…’ Then at 74 you find something.”
It applies to more than mammograms, he says. Any type of routine screening such as colonoscopy or blood work should be treated as a reset.
“It’s natural to get lulled into a false sense of safety by prior tests,” he says. “Every year you need to go in with a fresh set of eyes so you don’t miss things like this.”