Irish Hubbard, Macon
Getting a mammogram has been part of my annual physical since my early 40s. Several years ago I found a lump in my breast. Luckily it was nothing, but either way, I needed to know. Despite the new recommendations, I’m going to continue to get an annual mammogram, although I won’t be 50 for a few years. It might catch something that I don’t catch, and I feel good knowing that I’m taking care of myself.
Sally Bateman, Macon physician’s assistant anesthetist
I’m scared that these guidelines are the first step toward rationing health care. I know about the false positives — and see those patients when I’m working. Five years ago, when I was 25, I felt a lump and immediately went to my doctor. He did a sonogram, and it turned out to be nothing. Working in a hospital I’ve seen a lot of breast cancer, including a friend who is a nurse. She was diagnosed in her 20s. My biggest concern is that if they raise the age for mammograms to 50, insurance won’t pay when you need one, especially for the poor.
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Meredith Lipson, Macon
I had a baseline mammogram last year when I turned 41. I will talk to my doctor about the new recommendations during my next visit. But I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Thelma Lane, Gray, two-time breast cancer survivor
I had no family history of breast cancer, but I would have had mammograms if I had insurance. I never had a mammogram until I found something in my breast because I didn’t have insurance. God led me to find my cancer and I got it taken care of. Women should have a mammogram every year to catch cancer early.
Pam Hill, Macon
I’m 41, soon to be 42. I’m planning to have my first mammogram this year — and won’t put off having one because of the new guidelines. This topic weighs heavily on me because I lost a friend to breast cancer this year. With even one cancer death so many lives are changed and there’s such a ripple effect.
Debbie Ziesenhene, Warner Robins
I disagree with the new mammography guidelines. I think a baseline is important by age 40. When I was in my late 30s I found a lump in my breast. It was benign, but when I reached 40 I began having a mammogram about every two years. Women should get a mammogram annually if there’s a reason. Self-exams do a lot of good. That’s how I found my lump. The benefits of regular mammograms outweigh the risks.
Jill Fleming, military spouse, Warner Robins
All of the women that I know who have done well with breast cancer had early detection. I’ve had a mammogram annually since I turned 40. TriCare (military insurance) pays for annual screenings like mammograms and pap smears, but everything could change if the new guidelines are adopted. Mammograms aren’t perfect, but they provide a lot of peace of mind.