#BreastCancerAwareness Month – Did you schedule your mammogram yet? #HanesForGood

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Have you scheduled your mammogram? I’ll admit that I’ve never had one before, up until yesterday. I never really thought about Breast Cancer before, except for being there for loved ones that have been through Breast Cancer treatments. As I’m getting older, it’s making me realize that it can happen to anyone and that I need to start taking proactive actions before it’s too late. I am excited to partner with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Hanes to help spread awareness about Breast Cancer.

Breast Cancer really hits home for me.

  • A girl that I work out with at the gym on a daily basis, her 85 year old grandfather was diagnosed with breast cancer. He had to have a double mastectomy… at the age of 85. Breast Cancer in men is pretty rare – but it happens. I believe the percentage is around 1% for men to get breast cancer. It’s very rare, but it happens.
  • A fellow blogger, wife and young mother of two that is in her early 30’s has stage 2B breast cancer. She’s reported to be doing well and in very good spirits.
  • I spoke with a local woman and her 30 year old daughter just had a double mastectomy just after her 30th birthday. She felt a lump and her doctor refused to refer her over to get a mammogram because of her age, (under 40 years old) so she took it upon herself to fight with the doctors and insurance company to get her a mammogram scheduled. 6 months later, she was finally able to get a mammogram. She was almost too late. She’s currently undergoing chemo and is reported to be doing well.

I do have to say that when I went to make my appointment, it was a complete pain because of the amount of questions that were asked on the phone, and they were duplicated when I checked in for the mammogram itself. This was my fear for making the appointment, however, I am telling you this because I’ve heard from some folks and friends online that they don’t want to make an appointment for a mammogram because they’re afraid of how long it’ll take to make the appointment, some don’t have a regular doctor, some don’t have insurance, some worry how long the mammogram itself will last and I’ve heard fears on how painful the mammo is itself.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas. The breast is exposed to a small dose of iodizing radiation that produces an image of the breast tissue.

Here are some helpful tips on how to check for the signs of breast cancer,

How do you schedule a mammogram?

If you find a lump on your monthly home breast exams, contact your personal doctor. Your doctor will be able to exam you and if you need to get a mammogram done, they will be able to schedule

What if I can’t afford a mammogram?

There are helpful tools out there for you. Be sure to check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation for those locations that can help.

Does a mammogram hurt?

I can say from my experience yesterday – NO. I’ll be blunt with you and tell you that the machine was pretty intimidating.

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I have to admit that I was ready to go. Even though this machine seemed pretty scary, I was entirely too eager to see how this worked.

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The x-ray tech that did my mammogram was pretty awesome. She explained everything to me, what was about to happen, what I needed to do, how I needed to stand, where I needed to stand and all that fun stuff. Basically, if you like to hug, this is the adventure for you.

Long story short, you get to hug this machine ….. Four times.

I was able to go see my x-ays and she explained to me the different looks of the layers within the breast. She was simply amazing!

On her side of the screen, she sees how to position the patient, for the four times that you get to hug the machine.

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I think this was my left breast. The white ‘strip’ on the top left, is the muscle within my armpit. The more ‘clear’ tissue is the outer fatty breast tissue. The white parts are the glands within the breast.

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How old do you need to be to get a mammogram?

The recommended age is 40 years old to get a mammogram, however if breast cancer runs in your family, keep doing your monthly checking & check with your doctor to see if you need a mammogram. I am 38 years old and I have never had one, until yesterday. Cancer cannot recognize an age, nor can cancer recognize if you’re male or female. Cancer sees no age. Cancer has no care if you’re male or female. If you think you feel a lump, get it taken care of.

I am 38 years old and while there are no reports of breast cancer in my immediate family, I do have valid concerns for cancer within my bloodline. I am very thankful to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for this amazing and heartwarming opportunity for me to learn more about Breast Cancer, as well as to experience a mammogram for myself, do more research for myself and share it with my readers.

I am begging you…. If you’re a woman and have concerns about Breast Cancer, please make an appointment with your regular OBGYN. If you don’ t have a doctor, you can log on to the National Breast Cancer Foundation website for more information and to find a location near you that does mammograms.

**Edited to add – My results

I went to get the mail just now, 30 hours after I had my mammogram and I open this:

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YAY!!!! Man, this place is FAST! Even my doctor hasn’t been notified yet!

Two words:

  1. Get.
  2. Checked.

A mammogram can save your life!

Comments

  1. Pain relief? Mine was uncomfortable, but didn’t need any pain meds. Sounds like your tech was beyond careless.

  2. IMO you had a horrible technician. It was uncomfortable, for a split second. Other than that, it did not need any type of pain relief.

  3. As a 42 year old female who received her 1st mammogram 4 months ago, I believe it is important that your readers know that although your experience was painless, this is not “always” the case. The x-ray technician that performed my mammogram was extremely rough, rushed, explained nothing, and caused me to experience a significant amount of pain. I sincerely hope that my future, as well as the future of the general public, holds only x-ray technicians as “pretty awesome” as yours.

  4. Jen Driscoll says:

    Lucky you that it did not hurt. Each time I have had mine done, the process of having the breasts flattened enough to get a clear picture hurt so much I nearly clawed my way out of the side of the building while still attached to the machine. This comes from someone who unintentionally gave birth with no pain relief twice and thought natural childbirth, even not by choice, want too bad. And then the tech announced we needed more shots– 20 in all, because I had very dense tissue. Then they made me repeat that experience every six months for two years. My chest hurt for two weeks after each time from the bruising.

    I appreciate that you are attempting to be encouraging and that mammograms are important. They are. But if I had read this first I would have felt lied to big time. Every woman I know considers mammograms to be extremely painful.

  5. Sandra Kerr says:

    After a five year period of not having mammogram my internist scheduled me. HOWEVER the doctor at the facility who was to read it sent a notification they would NOT provide me with a report because it had been too long since last mammo. This came from large hospital in south Florida and my internist said “oh well…” My husband got another doctor at facility to privately review my mammo with us!

  6. Sonja Hill says:

    I would never discourage anyone from getting a mammogram but i wouldn’t want anyone to think they are always painless either – every woman is different. I’ve never had a mammogram that didn’t hurt, but the pain is short lived. Taking ibuprofen or Tylenol prior to a mammogram is recommended.