Just one day after my 40th birthday, I decided to delve right in and get my first mammogram screening.
I wasn’t scared and don’t have a family history of breast cancer, but because there is such a push for women to get a screening at age 40 I thought that there was no need to wait and there’s no time like the present to get cracking on this cancer screening.
I heard all the stories about how they poke and prod and squash the breast with the mammogram machine so I was prepared to get my breast squeezed like fresh-squeezed-OJ. I knew it would not be a pleasant experience. But it wasn’t as bad as some have said. It might be because in my case I have some huge boobs – I’m in the Double D club so I have much cushion for the pushing the machine was going to do on my boobs.
It was a pretty quick process but in the end I was a bit taken aback when the radiologist said, “Don’t be alarmed if you get a callback. They may call you back to get more tests.”
Was she trying to tell me something? Did she see something on her screen that alerted her that something was awry with my breasts.
My friends on Facebook told me not to be alarmed because it happens alot. Especially when young women like me have DENSE breasts. So in a few days I’ll know the results of the tests. In the meanwhile there are things that every woman should know about getting a mammogram. Don’t wait. If you have already turned 40, GO GET TESTED. Check out these mammogram facts that every woman should know.
Just the Facts
For every 1,000 women who have a screening mammogram:
- 100 are recalled to get more mammography or ultrasound images
- 20 are recommended for a needle biopsy
- 5 are diagnosed with breast cancer
What Is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a specific type of breast exam used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. This quick medical exam uses a noninvasive X-ray targeted to each breast, producing pictures that your doctor can use to identify and treat any abnormal areas, possibly indicating the presence of cancer.
Why Are Mammograms Important?
Annual mammograms can detect cancer early — when it is most treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Mammograms can also prevent the need for extensive treatment for advanced cancers and improve chances of breast conservation. Current guidelines from the American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, and the Society for Breast Imaging recommend that women receive annual mammograms starting at age 40 — even if they have no symptoms or family history of breast cancer.
You are right that “there is such a push for women to get a screening at age 40” even though the official claims about mammography are nullified by the actual scientific facts (read the ebook “The Mammogram Myth: The Independent Investigation Of Mammography The Medical Profession Doesn’t Want You To Know About” by Rolf Hefti). By the way, a mammogram is not a “noninvasive X-ray” as it penetrates the breasts. Also, mammogram use leads to an increase in the use of invasive cancer treatments, not a decrease of it.