Thursday, July 23, 2009

Get Your Mammogram!! Take control of your life!!

I just got my regular screening mammogram yesterday, and although it's not entirely without pain for me (especially after my surgeries!), I can't ever imagine postponing it, or thinking that I'll forgo it "this time". And neither should you...
My mammogram in 2007 SAVED MY LIFE, and caught my invasive breast cancer long before it could even have been felt by a physical exam. My cancer hadn't spread to my lymph nodes, but if I had waited another 6 months or a year to be screened, this might not have been the case, and my chances for survival would not be as favorable. Because my cancer was found early, I didn't need chemotherapy, just radiation; another positive aspect of regular screening.

And, my cancer was found on a non-digital mammogram, for those of you who have doubts about the effectiveness of didn't show up on an ultrasound or on a MRI at all!

I have worked in healthcare since 1980, and I have seen the tragic results of women's fear of cancer preventing them from being screened. It's not necessarily a question of being without medical coverage, as many people suppose is the case. Sadly, even when mammograms are offered at no cost, many women choose the "avoidance" approach, because they're so afraid to find out their breast health status. Even more tragic, when the same women later present with symptoms, it's much more serious, and may be too late: their cancer has now advanced to their lymphatic system, and possibly to other organs, such as their lungs, bones, and brain.

Please, do this for you, for your loved ones, your friends - take action, and get a mammogram! Don't wait until you find a lump or see something that doesn't look right. Face your fears, and get screened. I know it's scary; I'm a cancer patient, and I still think of the possibility of a new cancer being found. But, I'd rather find it earlier than later - wouldn't you?

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