The number of women over the age of 40 who get mammograms is declining, according to researchers at the National Cancer Institute. This trend is alarming to some breast cancer experts who say that mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early.

Experts say that since mammograms have been used for early detection, breast cancer mortality rates have dropped; they fear that fewer women showing up for mammograms might reverse these results. The U.S. government recommends that women aged 40 and up receive regular mammograms every one to two years, and that women who have a family history of disease or other high-risk factors begin screenings earlier.

Black women continue to be diagnosed with later stages of breast cancer, and suffer from higher mortality rates, than white women. Talk to your doctor about your risk for breast cancer and visit the national Cancer Institute’s website for more information on risk factors, symptoms, screening and treatment.