East Texas women aren't canceling mammograms because of new guidelines

On Monday a report on the new breast cancer screening guidelines from the United States Preventive Task Force was released.

The new report says women should be screened from age 50 instead of 40, and the screenings should be every two years, instead of once a year.

Some East Texas medical professionals are still very much in favor of women getting screened at an earlier age.

The new mammogram guidelines may be confusing, especially when doctors are still working hard to stress the importance of getting checked.

"We really still are wishing that all women would participate in any type of screening process. That's where we really are still. Let's not worry about how often yet. Let's just get the message out that women need to get mammograms," said Doctor Sid Roberts.

Beverly Slaughter was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 37-years-old. Thanks to early detection and self awareness, she is celebrating her fourth year as a breast cancer survivor.

"The earlier you're diagnosed, the better chances you are for survivorship as well as if you're diagnosed, you know with a really small tumor, then you know radiation may be all that you need to save you from going through chemo," said Slaughter.

She says taking the time to get screened is necessary.

"It's very important because if you wait then, in young women, it's very aggressive and it can kill you," said Slaughter.

Others couldn't agree more.

"Self examination is very important and having a yearly mammogram is just as important," said Cancer Center receptionist Sharon Hadnot.

"I don't think 40 is a bad age. From what we see, I've been doing this for almost 26 years. Especially on the women that are high risk," said radiation therapist Jewel Randle.

For now, women younger than 50 continue to follow previous guidelines.

"We've not seen any cancellations or changes in screening at this point. It's far too early to see that and I don't anticipate much to be honest," said Roberts.

And these doctors hope it will continue to stay this way.

Just last year, Memorial Hospital reported nearly 7,000 women who received mammograms.

That's up 350 from 2007. In October alone, which was breast cancer awareness month, 747 women were screened.