Friday, July 9, 2010

Today was my appointment for my annual mammogram (Am I telling my age?) which I have been very faithful in having done each year since I turned 40. I'm sure you all know what a mammogram is but just in case, it's an x-ray of the breast used to check for breast cancer in women.

So now for the personal experience of taking this exam. Sorry no pictures! If I had to use one word to describe this experience, I would say, "UNCOMFORTABLE!" Although the technician trys her best to make the experience as painfree and comfortable as possible, it's just not possible! They push, and pull, and squeeze, and after all that, the machine squashes your boob between two plates.  And here's how I would describe the actual procedure: Open the refrigerator, stand straight, stick in your breast, close the refrigerator. Do this on both sides and there you have it!

Now on to the SERIOUS side, DID YOU KNOW that the following factors increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer:
  • Women who began having menstrual periods before age 12.
  • Women who went through menopause after age 55.
  • Women who have their first child after age 30 or who never have a child.
  • After menopause for women who are overweight or obese.
  • Women who are physically inactive throughout life. (Being active may help reduce risk by preventing weight gain and obesity.)
  • The more alcohol a woman drinks, the greater her risk.
There are many more factors but these just sort of jumped out at me as some of the ones that we might not think about as much. Just google the word "mammogram" and there will be an endless supply of info.

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