If you're a woman over 40, you've probably heard your doctor tell you- you need a mammogram, but now someone else may be telling you.
Several new public service announcements are airing that show families who've lost someone to breast cancer. In one spot a son tells his dad he wishes his mom was there to celebrate his birthday. In another a bride on her wedding day tells her dad she wishes her mother could be there.
The PSA's are the brainchild of Salem breast cancer surgeon Dr. Bob Williams who says he hopes they hit home with husbands, fathers and even with children.
"Ask you mom if she's had a mammogram if she's over 40," said Dr. Williams. " and she hasn't had a mammogram this year bug her and tell tell her 'mom I want you to be here for me. I want you to be here for my graduation. I want you to be here when I get married. I want you to be here for my kids.'"
The local folks who made the PSA's from the actors to the videographer- all volunteered their time. Dr. Williams says getting a mammogram is an effective way to find breast cancer.
"If a woman gets a mammogram every year after 40 the chances of her dying from breast cancer are really really tiny," said Dr. Williams.
When asked how frustrating it is for him to know only 33 percent of women in Virginia who are eligible for a mammogram actually get one, Dr. Williams had this to say:
"I get very angry and I see women die because they didn't get mammograms," said Dr. Williams.
If caught early enough most breast cancers are treatable. Because of that, this is the message Dr. Williams wants you to hear.
"If you won't do it for yourself, do it for us. Do it for your kids. Do it for your spouse," said Dr. Williams. "Do it for your friends. Do it for your coworkers. Do it for the people that need you ."