As you grow up there are certain things that are required at certain age milestones. Being a woman, we all know that the big 4.0. means we have to get a mammogram.
I actually had a mammogram a few years ago because I found a lump in my breast in my late 20s. It took years for the doctor to finally approve me getting a mammogram, and when I finally did get one – it was a lymph node. I am grateful that’s all it was, but it also gave me a sense of peace.
Now that I am in the 40 club, it’s time again to get an official insurance mandated mammogram.
Some women treat mammograms like men treat prostate exams – they just don’t want it.
Today, as I went into the office I actually felt excited to get the exam on the books. Recently, I have felt a lump on the side on my breast, followed by striking pain.
The tech said she didn’t see anything but to also remember she is not the doctor. In her opinion it’s just fatty tissue. So, let’s say a prayer.
Here are a few tips when getting a mammogram:
- Have your referrals & paperwork ready. Depending on your insurance, you need a doctors referral. Be sure to have a copy handy just incase it’s not in their system yet. You don’t want to be turned away for your mammogram or have to reschedule. As for paperwork, have a list of past mammograms because they will want to collect those other x-rays to compare.
- Schedule a time when your breast aren’t tender. Usually the week of your period, your breast are tender. In a mammogram, they squeeze or flatten your breast – so if they are tender it will feel worse and very uncomfortable.
- Don’t have anything on your skin before your mammogram. Avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in powders and deodorants could be visible on your mammogram and cause confusion.
- Don’t wear a DRESS! The cover up usually just covers the chest, so unless you want to stand at the mammogram in your panties or covering your bottom with your own dress wrapped around you like me (feeling crazy) – just wear pants!
- STAY POSITIVE! Remember that only 2 to 4 screening mammograms in 1,000 lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
My experience today was easy peasy. The actual time spent with the tech was around 15 minutes. She took 4 pictures, 2 on each side and we were done. She explained what she was doing and was gentle with my lady parts.
Now the waiting begins. Usually if you don’t hear anything in 10 days, you should call your healthcare provider. Mammography clinics also must mail women an easy-to-understand summary of their mammogram results within 30 days—or “as quickly as possible” if the results suggest cancer is present. This means you could get the results before your provider calls you. Source
Have you ever had a mammogram? Are you afraid? What is holding you back from getting it done?