Local Concern Over Mammogram Recommendations

New guidelines on when women should get mammograms have sparked nationwide debate, including right here in eastern Carolina.

There has been much controversy since the government task force came out with the recommendations Monday, saying women should wait until their 50's to get screened for breast cancer, instead of starting in their 40's. And that they only need to do it every other year.

Gloria Rouse is in her first week of chemotherapy for her second cycle since being diagnosed with breast cancer in May. The 59 year-old La Grange native credits routine mammograms since she was 45 for making her battle with cancer--a fair fight.

Dr. Rachel Raab with the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center at Pitt County Memorial Hospital disagrees with the new recommendations. "We're all very concerned that starting at age 50 with mammograms might be waiting too late. And there still is some benefit in women obtaining screening mammograms."

So far in this year, the American Cancer Society is reporting over 192,000 new cases of breast cancer in women. Thirty-three percent of these women are under the age of 40.

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