9 years ago I went to see my Doctor for a routine check-up and mammogram. I was healthy, busy and didn’t give it a second thought. I thought like every other year the Doctor would say I was in excellent health. She didn’t. She told me to see a surgeon. She said my mammogram was read and it appeared to be textbook breast cancer. In a minute my life changed. I was 48 years old.
Digital mammography is fantastically fast. Before you get dressed the radiologist reads your mammogram and either sends you on your way, asks for another view, or recommends you see your physician.
Mammograms have come a long way from the big squish times. Yes the squish is still there but it is such a short amount of time you hardly feel it. When you are asked to hold your breath the procedure is so fast that you aren’t even gulping for air!
If you take 400 mg of Ibuprofen before your mammogram it does help take the edge off the tiniest discomfort. As far as pain, I am here to say cancer not only sucks but it hurts. A slight ouch from a mammogram is nothing in comparison to painful chemotherapy infusions, body aches and numbing fatigue.
If you say there is no breast cancer in your family, and you are healthy, read my first paragraph again. There is no known cause for breast cancer and no cure. If you are over 40 and especially if you have dense breast or someone in your family had breast or ovarian cancer, get your mammogram.
Many women are reluctant to have a mammogram because they are afraid of the results. The other excuses women give for not having a yearly mammogram is lack of insurance or the cost or the time. As far as the cost goes, the Komen foundation; komen.org can assist for some uninsured low income women. As far as the fear factor, when breast cancer is diagnosed early the survival rate is 98%. The time excuse, really do you have time for cancer??If you are insured it is a no brainer. How busy can you be in the grand scheme of life?
Life can change in a minute from an injury, illness, accident or sudden death. We all take precautions when we buy car insurance, or home insurance. We are being safe when we use our seat belt, or use our turn signals while driving. Why would we not take the same safety measures with our health and get a yearly mammogram?
October is breast cancer awareness month!