Fact. Despite the controversy over how often and at what age you should get mammograms, their value in detecting breast cancer is not debated. Mammography may be the most important tool doctors have for discovering new cases of breast cancer. Research shows that for women 50 and older, those who received regular mammograms had a 23 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer than women who did not. In its early stages, breast cancer usually has no symptoms; regular screenings with mammograms can detect breast cancer before it spreads. Even though the benefits of mammograms aren’t quite as clear for women between the ages of 40 and 49, most major health organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, recommend routine mammograms (yearly or every other year) beginning at age 40.