TYLER, Texas (KETK) – With a 10-year decrease in age, it is now advised women 40 and over should get a mammogram every other year but healthcare officials say that’s how it’s always been for them.
“Have many, many years recommended a woman start her mammograms at age 40 and then yearly thereafter,” said Dr. Arielle Lee, Oncologist, UT Health East Texas Hope Cancer Center-Tyler.
“We’re starting to see a lot of younger women become diagnosed or have some issues and so if you know, you have a family history, talk to your doctor, they may want to get it sooner than 40,” said Joy Johnson, Assistant Director of Community Outreach, NET Health.
Dr. Arielle Lee an oncologist with UT Health East Texas says women should be doing self-exams monthly. If you detect anything abnormal tell your doctor immediately and they can set up a screening.
“Tomo mammogram where there is compression of the breast and a very low dose x-ray to evaluate what they see in it,” said Dr. Lee.
Joy Johnson with net health says fear and cost can keep women from getting the necessary checkup.
Thanks to their breast and cervical cancer services program they are able to provide grants to patients for exams.
“They can access free mammograms without needing to worry about, oh, how am I going to make it? How am I going to pay for it,” said Johnson.
She says they partner with both major Tyler hospitals and have a mobile bus come by every 2 months.
“Some people feel more comfortable having it done at a non-clinic facility so they’ll come here and their appointment will already be set up,” said Johnson.
Dr. Lee and Johnson say they tell women to start having conversations with their doctor at 25 years old.
“It’s important to know your breast cancer risk at a younger age so that you can have what we call breast awareness,” said Dr. Lee.
Because the sooner breast cancer can be detected the faster they can start treatment and prevent it.