Thursday, July 06, 2006

Got Mammograms?

Look what I did this morning:

For all of you boys out there that don't know what that is, that's the machine they use to administer a mammogram.

For all of you girls out there, over the age of 40, that don't know what it is, well, get ye into the doctor's office!

Here are some boring statistics from the Breast Cancer site:

Each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die. One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year.

If detected early, the five-year survival rate exceeds 95%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

If you're 40 or older, you need to have a mammogram at least every 2 years, though many doctors recommend an annual exam. If you there's a history of breast cancer in your family, you need to start getting checked out in your 30s. My first was when I was 35.

I have so many friends and acquaintances that fear or avoid this test. Ladies, if that's you, if you're avoiding it because you're afraid that it will be painful, then don't be. There's just nothing to be afraid of.

Yes, they're going to take you in there and pancake your breasts side-ways once, and then up and down-ways. It is vaguely uncomfortable, and if you're more tender than the rest of us, then it might be a little painful.

A LITTLE painful. You're not going to scream or cry. The squooshing procedure takes less than 15 seconds. And then the discomfort is over, and you get to go your merry way.

If you're a timid one, ask for a female technician. Keep in mind that she's flopping and squishing and touching boobs all day long, and she is not going to care how big or small yours are, and she's not going to think they're funny, or weird or amazing. She's only going to care that they're healthy, and that there's nothing going on inside that might kill you.

If you're indifferent or unconcerned, just think about those statistics again. 1 in 8!! You have 7 coworkers? 7 women that show up at a family function? 7 friends? Line up with any of the 7, and you're number 8.

Just do it. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family, your kids. Do it for your friends. If this hasn't moved you, do it as one little favor for me.

I'll never ask you to do anything again.

13 comments:

  1. Great post. LOL @ 'pancake'!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Good advice. And you are right, any pain and/or discomfort is for so few seconds, it's not a big deal. I do have to chuckle...afterwards...that the technician says, "Hold your breath." as she takes the picture. Like you could actually breathe in the position they put you in. I read that a way to experience what a mammogram is like is to lie down on your driveway and have someone drive a car over your breast.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this post. It's so important. And thanks for getting a mammogram yourself ~ there are people out here who like you around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I go every year. It's not that bad, really. And I have a couple friends who are alive and kicking due to early detection. Just do it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This was sent to me by a friend today:

    http://mammogram.funnypart.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Being a woman is painful .. I feel sorry at times when you think abt the stress and pain you guys go through ..

    ./thanks
    ilaiy

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is a nice post. The more the breast cancer awareness is raised the better it is for the world. As you said, b.cancer a real threat.

    Anybody who is afraid of the mammogram should think about how scary being diagnosed with acute cancer would be if they neglect!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so glad that you brought your camera to share this moment with us...fourty is only a few years away for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great post -- and I hope your female readers take it to heart!

    I read something very funny somewhere. A woman writer suggested that it was obviously a man who invented mammography equipment. And she went on to say that he would have worked to improve the design if he had actually ever experienced anything similar...like if he'd ever been forced to lie down on a driveway and have his penis smashed by the closing garage door!

    ;)

    Janet

    (lordcelery.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is eerily timely. I have an appt. for a Mammo scheduled on the 25th of this month! Weird.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi, I just dropped by while following links, and thought this was a great post. Very informative. I started to be screened at the age of 17 for breast cancer as my mother had it at 27... It's not pleasant but it is necessary.

    ReplyDelete

Back talk! Comment here!