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GETTING ANSWERS: Why getting regular mammograms is so important

Getting regular mammograms is important for breast health.
Getting regular mammograms is important for breast health.(KSLA)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 3:17 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:06 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many health professionals are encouraging women to take their breast health seriously.

Reports by Yale Medicine show mammograms are 98% effective in detecting breast cancer.

Willis-Knighton OB-GYN Erin Gullatt says while mammograms start at the age of 40, those under 40 still have a responsibility.

“It’s a case-by-case basis as far as when we start screening mammograms. Typically in the average-risk population, it is age 40. Prior to that, we recommend your breast exams by your OB-GYN technician yearly starting around age 21, potentially earlier depending on the circumstance,” Gullatt said. “And we also recommend something called self-breast awareness, which is just knowing how your breast normally feels so that if it’s something that’s not usually there pops up, then you’ll recognize it.”

Sixteen years ago, Christus Health Breast Patient Navigator Denise Tindall beat breast cancer. She says she found out at the age of 43, after getting a mammogram.

“I was doing self-breast exams and I didn’t feel it, but I made sure that I went to my OB-GYN every year and so she did a breast exam,” she said.

Reports show, more than 1,000 women under 40 die each year from breast cancer. This is why experts say mammograms and self-exams are key.

”You can do it once a month or so and that way you just kind of get in the habit,” said Gullatt.

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