It's no secret that mammograms can detect cancer early when it is most treatable. But there are often barriers preventing women from getting a mammogram.

So, folks at the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center are using some new hats as a lighthearted way to approach a serious subject.

Angela Posey is the Outreach coordinator.

Angela Posey says, "Each one of these hats represents a barrier women face and just taking care of themselves."

Another reason why they put off getting a mammogram: "So this is penny-pinching Pearl, she represents a financial barrier that women have."

Some of the other barriers and hats include Painful Pauline, who is afraid of the brief discomfort, Busy Bessie, who believes she is too busy to go get a mammogram, and Shy Shirley, who is too embarrassed to get a mammogram.

Posey says, "The results are that it can detect something that could be suspicious in its earliest stage."

And that early detection could mean the difference between life and death, which is why Angela says they disagree with the recent change in guidelines.

They say all women should begin having yearly mammograms by age 45, and then have them every other year beginning at age 55.

Posey says, "We still recommend that is very important to have a base line mammogram between 35-40. We still recommend annual mammograms at age 40."

Angela says those changing guidelines can make it even more difficult to convince women they need to have a mammogram.

In the meantime, she hopes these hats will help start the conversation and persuade more women to make a trip to the doctor.

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