MEDFORD, Ore. -- As October ends, so does breast cancer awareness month.
However, the need to protect yourself continues year-round.
Few people want to talk about mammograms, and fewer people want to sign up for one.
But the Food and Drug Administration asserts that they are the best tool for breast cancer screening.
There are many reasons to delay this appointment, and doctors say that there is some confusion and some controversy on how often a woman should get a mammogram.
“A lot of insurances do still cover that mammogram between that 35 and 40 age. And I think if it's something you're concerned about or you've had a family history or even just you want that peace of mind, you know, I don't think there's anything wrong with having that done," says Nicole McPheeters, a nurse at Eisenstein Breast Center. "Again, we're still going to tell you 40, but there are reasons why patients get it done earlier than that."
McPheeters says that she had her first mammogram at 35, which identified her breast cancer.
"I had two areas of that, that was found. Had those extra magnification views, and was recommended for biopsy after that. And both of those sites did come back positive for early stage breast cancer. Just the DCIS. You know, definitely a shocking turn of events,” says McPheeters.
McPheeters says, "It's all about patient choice and honestly, stick with the consistent screening… it’s when you miss. It’s not just the one year, two years… it’s the three, four, five plus years that we have patients come in with a lot larger cancers and, of course, our job is to catch breast cancers in the earliest stages when they're most easily treatable."
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