TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Women of all ages have been affected by breast cancer, and they are the women who are speaking out against the task force's new recommendations. An East Texas teacher, only 26 years old, has battled breast cancer for the past year.
"Pretty much the first thing out of his mouth was, 'I'm so sorry, but it's cancer,'" said Lindsey Pond. "That was out of body experience for me because I had all along thought, 'This is nothing, this is nothing, this is nothing.'"
Pond was only 25 years old when she heard the news.
"I knew that it was always a possibility, but didn't feel like it was a real possibility," she said.
Now a survivor, she says a self breast exams saved her life.
"Only because of that did I know that this lump was new," said Pond. "It was not huge, but it was a change."
That's why she is shocked with the new guidelines that suggest self exams serve no purpose.
"I can't even really communicate my reaction to that because if it hadn't of been for self-breast exams, I could likely have gone for years without knowing that I had a very aggressive tumor in my body," she said. "And, instead of them saying here is your treatment plan, they would have said here is your death plan."
Dr. Joseph Martin is an oncologist. He says despite the guidelines on mammograms, self-exams are crucial.
"I'm not comfortable telling people not to do a self-exam," said Martins. "Especially when we are telling people not to get mammograms. Then you are left with nothing."
"How much more wonderful to know from the start, 'OK we can get this out because it hasn't spread, and you are going to live because it hasn't spread,'" said Ponds.
No matter the cost, survivors of all ages say early detection saved their lives.