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Being proactive is key when dealing with preventing, tackling breast cancer

The American Breast Cancer Foundation encourages women over 40 to get yearly mammograms in the hopes of catching breast cancer in its early stages / Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The American Breast Cancer Foundation encourages women over 40 to get yearly mammograms in the hopes of catching breast cancer in its early stages.

With the new year right around the corner, it's a good habit to adopt.

Dr. Danielle Rogers with Coliseum Health says being proactive is the best route to preventing and tackling the disease.

Rogers encourages women of all ages to get checked if they have a family history of breast cancer.

Elaine Hardison's sister passed away from breast cancer 20 years ago. Soon after, she noticed a lump in her breast, so she went in for a mammogram.

The mammogram confirmed she had breast cancer.

In March, Hardison will be cancer free for two years. Now, she is working with the non-profit organization United in Pink to encourage women to get mammogram screenings and work with families dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.

"When you catch it early, there is a lilkelihood of successful treatment is greater and it also gives you a little more control of your life," she said.

Rogers said that even if you are not insured, Georgia has a women's health initiative that will work to get you a free screening if you need one. She said that in order to do this, you can go to your local health department and get an exam. If there seems to be any suspicion that you may be at risk, they will give you a referral for a free mammogram.

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