Mammograms, self-exams can save your life

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and survivors and doctors are urging both women and men to get tested.

Lillie Hobbs, a two-time breast cancer survivor, and advocate for breast cancer awareness, says she was first diagnosed in 2003 during her annual physical.

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Hobbs says the lump was so small, she had to help her doctor find it so they could perform a mammogram.

After the cancer diagnosis, she underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Twelve years later, Hobbs returned for another annual physical and was diagnosed again in the same breast.

“The first time I wasn’t shocked because I am a woman of faith,” Hobbs said. “The second time wasn’t as severe, we caught it early.”



Hobbs says finding out you have cancer is hard, but having a good support system is key.

“I am a blessed woman, you have to have faith and keep yourself from being around negative people,” Hobbs said.

She suggests that women as well as men know their body and perform self exams frequently.

Dr. Danielle Rogers, the Director of Coliseum Medical Centers Cancer Center, says 1-in-8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

“Typically we start annual mammograms at the age of 40,” Dr. Rogers said. “The older you get the bigger the risk is to get breast cancer.”

Dr. Rogers says screenings have proven to be beneficial in detecting pre-cancerous areas and diagnosing sooner.

“Be familiar with your breast tissue,” Dr.Rogers said. “Be on the look out for abnormalities that weren’t there before.”

You can perform self breast exams in the shower by using a circular motion and using light, medium and firm pressure when examining.

Dr. Rogers urges men as well who may have a family history of male breast cancer to get examined and to consistently exam yourself.