Mammograms have gotten very important in my life in the last year. I got my first test done when I turned 35 but once I turned 40, things changed.
Mammograms for women over 40 are important so when I turned 40 it was imperative to be tested every year and in my case it can be life saving.
If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, your PCP (primary care physician) may decide to monitor you more closely due to your risk factor. Unfortunately, I fall in that risk factor. My grandmother passed of breast cancer and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. I am in no way claiming this in my future report but it is important to be cautious and participate in preventive and early detection measures such as getting a mammogram every year.
Last year I went for my now yearly mammogram exam. My PCP had it scheduled after I had my yearly physical. In my area there is a Breast Center that is outsourced by one of local the hospitals that does a great job in my opinion.
This experience was a little different. I went to the large and nicely decorated women’s facility. The waiting room is rather large and spacious, plenty of room for you to sit comfortably while waiting on your turn to be called to the back. The majority of people waiting appear to be women over 40 and above, of course there may have been some 30 something year olds, but the majority were 40 and above. Everyone appeared to be relaxed and comfortable with a book or reading device in hand to pass the time away.
A lovely nurse calls my name and I follow her behind the doors to another waiting area. The nurse introduces herself and briefly inform me on what is about to happen. She directs me through a small waiting room and into a dressing room into what appears to be a small closet with shelving to place your closes in with hangars, deodorant, robes, and handi- sanitation wipes. I was instructed to unclothe from the waist up, use the wipes to remove your under arm deodorant before putting on the robe and have a seat in the small waiting area I passed through.
The lovely tech instructed me how she wanted me to stand and hold my arms so she could place my breast on this leaver that will squish my breast together like meat between two pieces of bread.
It felt strange for a woman to pull and tug on me to get my little B cup breast in this machine. This was one time when I wished I was a C cup or bigger so she would not have to pull so much…hahahaha. Anyway she got what she needed and left the room.
The tech came back with news that the Doctor wanted more pictures. I was directed into another room and instructed to lie on the hospital bed for an ultrasound. I jokingly asked the new tech if the Doctor needed more pictures because my breast was small. She smiled and said “no, she just wanted a better picture. My mind began racing and wondering what was going on. I am now lying on this bed while the tech is performing an ultrasound on my breasts. The procedure is much like having an ultrasound when you are pregnant, moving this wand across your breast and pressing and stopping in certain areas to take a picture.
In walks the Doctor, she begins to explain what the ultrasound showed, some cysts of some sort.
She was concerned because these cysts were not there the year before. I was told not to be alarmed but she wanted to monitor the cysts and that I should return in 6 months’ time.
Fast forward 6 months later, this year. I return to the Women’s Breast Center for my 6 month’s checkup. ,H2>The ultrasound was performed and nothing had changed. Hallelujah!!!
I am elated and all smiles. I am instructed to return in another 6 months to ensure everything remain normal.
Mammograms are important. It is an essential tool in early detection of breast cancer. Every woman over 40 should have a mammogram done even though she may perform self-examinations. Early detection could save a life and should be performed regularly. I am glad I did not skip my 6 months requested check-up and I will return for the next 6 month check-up until I am released to return to the once a year examination.
Tell your friend, mother, sister, and family members that are 40 and above to make sure and have a mammogram done. A mammogram could save a life.