If you are squeamish about breasts, do not read my post.
I had my annual mammogram recently. Despite the fact that breast cancer does not run in my family, I have had an annual mammogram since I turned 40. Statistics show that almost 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. It’s an annual test. Despite the fact that gravity, age and birthing children has impacted them in a negative way, I happen to like my breasts. But, I like my life more.
A mammogram is not the most comfortable test. Just imagine this tender body part sandwiched between two pieces of concrete. Of course, this is after the radiology technician has contorted you so and completely stretched your breast until it feels like its going to separate from your body. To top if off, you cannot hold on to the machine and you have to turn your head. The only thing you don’t have to do is cough. Why hasn’t a better breast cancer detection system been created? When men get tested for testicular cancer, it’s a blood test. A blood test people, not a pound your mounds in to the mammogram machine test.
My 11 year-old daughter has been with me the last two times I have had my mammogram. It just worked out, based on our schedules, that she was with me. I also think it sends a clear message to young girls: It is your responsibility to take care of your body. There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. Is it weird? Yeah. Do I like a stranger handling my breasts and putting them on a cold slab? Nope. But taking care of my body is more important than a few minutes of topless embarrassment.
My daughter wanted to know if it hurt. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being off the chart pain, I said it was a 2. Yeah, it hurts, but it’s not nearly as painful as dental pain or childbirth. And, the uncomfortable part only lasts about three minutes. We can suck it up for three minutes to save our lives, right?
I talk with some people who say, “I don’t like to see the doctor.” Well, who the hell does? It usually means you are sick, taking tests to see if you might become sick or taking tests to see how sick you are. But you should not bury your head in the sand. An annual check up for all of us is a necessity. It might even save your life.
I hear other people say, “I can’t find the time.” But you have time to get diagnosed with a disease that could land you in doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics and hospitals? Didn’t think so.
Save your ta tas. Get your annual mammogram. And, while you are it, get your annual check up to save your other parts as well. We want you around for a long time.