Sarah Michelle Gellar shares picture of her first mammogram for breast cancer awareness

Sarah Michelle Gellar has shared a picture of her first ever mammogram to highlight the importance of the procedure.

The actress, 39, uploaded a photo from her doctor’s office to her Instagram account, telling her 1.4 million followers: ‘As a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend I do everything I can to make sure I’m healthy for my loved ones.’

‘Today I got my first mammogram. Not my ideal way to spend the day, but so important. #breastcancerawareness #cancerslayer’

Sarah Michelle, who is married to fellow actor Freddie Prinze Junior, is a mum of two, having welcomed daughter Charlotte Grace in 2009, and son Rocky in 2012, and it’s evident from her post that she’s determined to stay fit and healthy for her family.

However, it’s possible that the candid snap could also have been inspired by her close friendship with Charmed star Shannon Doherty, who has been battling breast cancer since March 2015.

In August 2016, she paid tribute to Shannon on social media, writing: ‘My #mondaymuse (and really every day #muse) is my brave friend @theshando.’

‘I’ve always said she is one of the most loyal friends I’ve ever known, and now while she is facing the toughest journey of her life, she is sharing it with friends she has never met in the hopes of helping other people who are going through the same struggle. That’s a true friend #F*ckCancer’

According to Cancer Research UK, each year more than 2 million women have breast cancer screening in the UK.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites all women aged between 50 and 70 for screening every 3 years. In England, the screening programme is currently extending the age range to include women from 47 to 73 years old.

Sarah Michelle pictured with children Charlotte and Rocky

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The NHS states that you will first be invited for screening between your 50th and 53rd birthday, although in some areas you’ll be invited from the age of 47 as part of the trial extension of the programme.

You may be eligible for breast cancer screening before the age of 50 if you have a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer – for instance, if you have a history of breast or ovarian cancer in your family.