Pink Pack: Survivor says waiting until 50 for screening could be too late

Reported by Frances Weller - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - As the debate continues over the new mammogram guidelines, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before 40 have some strong opinions about the issue.

The new guidelines suggest women can wait until 50 to start the yearly screenings, but Wilmington resident Nan Gibson, says that's too late.

Gibson is a wife and mother of two who looks like the picture of health, but four years ago her life took an unexpected turn.  At just 39 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She said her mother also had breast cancer, so she started mammograms at age 35.  She knows that had she waited until 50 to have her first mammogram, she might not he here.

"Early detection is so important," said Gibson.  "Mammograms find breast cancer before you feel a lump."

As a breast cancer survivor, Gibson has done a lot of research on the disease.

She knows that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history, so she believes encouraging women to wait until they are 50 to get their first mammogram is a mistake.

Copyright 2009 WECT. All rights reserved.