Mamograms vs. Self Exams

Barbara Headley has always performed monthly self breast exams. Five years ago, she felt a lump.

"I had a mammogram. I stood there with the radiologist, and he said I was fine. There was nothing to worry ab

But the results were wrong. Five months later, with a considerably larger lump, Headley found out she had a very advanced stage of breast cancer.

"Had I not done the monthly breast self exam, I would not be sitting here today," she said. "I'd been given a clean bill of health by a mammogram. I'm not knocking mammograms. They're an important diagnostic tool. I'm saying it'

After undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, Headley won the battle with breast cancer. Now, she works as an advocate, visiting local high schools to teach young women about the importance of self exams.

"I tell them about a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was. She was 28 and the doctors didn't take her seriously that she found a lump. She died at age 30. When I tell that story, it's not just a 60-year old woman telling them to examine their breasts."