There is much controversy these days about preventive care such as whether to have a Mammogram or not. I have heard both sides of the argument and I understand it is not without risk or flaws, but I still believe there is enough research indicated that early detection is the best form of protection from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the number one most common cancer in women, but not the deadliest, that is still lung cancer. Over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.
So off I go today to get my mammogram. I am super-excited (not!) to undress from the top up and slip my naked breast between two "smashers' as I affectionately refer to them. If you are not in your 40's yet and haven't had the privilege of a mammogram, let me enlighten you. Just imagine walking out to your cold garage one morning, laying down on the floor naked and shutting the garage door on your booby, one at a time. Good times, right?
Well, actually it's not that bad. I have the sweetest "mammographer" ever. She is kind and gentle and always warns me that her hands are cold. She offers me a cute "spa" robe to change into, storing my belongings in the locker provided. I am able to keep the robe on as I slip one arm in and out exposing one breast at a time for x-ray. The machine is a comfortable temperature and the "smashers" are two plastic trays that compress my breast tissue flat so a detailed x-ray can be taken. There are several positions she captures with her fancy camera and "smashers" and then we are all done.
I'm glad it's over, but proud i am making time to take care of myself. The radiologist will read it today and then email me and my gynecologist in the next day or two. As a Nurse Practitioner, I have an idea of what he is looking for on the x-rays and say a little prayer he doesn't find it.
The American Cancer Society recommends that all women start getting annual mammograms at age 45 until age 55 at which time mammograms can be completed every two years. However, this is for average women with no risk factors. It is always best to check with your doctor and ask what is best for you.
The article from the American Cancer Society can be read in full here.... http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2463262
So how about you, Have you had your Mammogram?
I love to read your comments and questions below...ask me anything!