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Survey: More Patient Education Needed On Women's Cancer Screenings

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A national survey by Planned Parenthood shows that doctors need to do a better job of educating women about when and how often they should get screened for breast and cervical cancer.

Dr. Rachael Phelps, medical director of the Planned Parenthood of Central Western New York, says many women are confused because the guidelines for screenings have recently changed.

“It used to be that you did both of them every year. You had an annual exam, and it was very simple. It was the same for everybody. It was just really clear. All of that has changed and now it's more complicated and what you need and when you need it depends on your age and your risk factors.”

The survey also showed that poor women and women of color face additional barriers to screenings. Many do not have adequate health care coverage, and some women don't realize that there is no cost or co-pay for routine screenings. 

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including founding producer of the midday talk show, The Full Story.