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Breast cancer in younger Amarillo women

Amarillo, Texas - Doctors are finding local women are being diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. A majority of breast cancer cases occur in women 55 and older. But now, Amarillo doctors are seeing a growing number of younger women.

"Especially in the past six months or so we are diagnosing more advance stage breast cancer in women. And the majority of these women have not regular mammogram screenings," Lova Arenivas, M.D., Texas Breast Specialists said.

Most of those women have been in their 40's. Dr. Arenivas says many women are unsure when to start their screenings. Those who wait put themselves at risk.

"Lots of studies are coming out every few weeks, every month contradicting yes have a mammogram at 40, no you can wait until 50, and women are confused," Arenivas said.

Women should begin at the age of 40. It's not just when to start that is causing women to wait.

"A lot of women say I don't have a family history of breast cancer, I don't need this test. Well the truth is three quarters of women being diagnosed with breast cancers do not have a family history. Sometimes women say I don't have the means to get screening mammogram's, or to get my mammogram," Arenivas said.

There are options available for those who are uninsured or cannot afford to get screened. Texas Tech's Breast Center for Excellence holds screenings for free mammogram's several times throughout the year.

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