Do you get a regular mammogram? I do and am grateful that I have not had any indication of breast cancer. I don’t have history of breast cancer in my immediate family but it is present in my extended family. According to this Mayo Clinic site, after skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it just so happens that my mammogram was scheduled during this month. I got a notice from my doctor to remind me to make my mammogram screening appointment so I called Women’s Imaging Center to make my appointment. The day before my appointment, I got a friendly reminder call about the appointment and to additionally remind me not to use powder, perfume, or deodorant to the appointment. I wore a shirt with a skirt or pants so that I didn’t have to fully disrobe during the screening.
I chose to have the 3D mammogram done so that there would be clearer images and increased accuracy of reading the results and thus, a reduced chance of call backs for unclear images. Unfortunately, as an HMSA EUTF member, the co-pay of $65 is not covered. I paid it out of pocket in hopes that my images are clear and I won’t have to go and get a follow-up MRI like I had to last year.
The last time I had a mammogram, a year ago, I was told that I had dense breasts. That just means that I have more dense breast tissue rather than fatty tissue. (I think women with small boobs, like me, tend to have dense breast tissue.) Dense breast tissue make breast cancer screening more difficult and I had to follow up with an MRI last year. Thankfully, the MRI results indicated that there was nothing to worry about. But here we are. One year later and time to get screened again. Let’s get together and convince HMSA to make this change to cover 3D mammography. Who do we talk to about this? The technology is here in Hilo. Let’s encourage the use of it to support accurate and early detection of breast cancer.
Normally, I wouldn’t publish a blog post about my mammogram experience, but one of my good friends was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She discovered her tumor through a routine mammogram screening. In support of my friend and of all women, I’m trying to do my part by bringing awareness to breast cancer.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
Don’t wait. Make your appointment to get your mammogram. Early detection is so important. Mammograms can help detect tumors that are too small to be felt possibly even two years before a lump can be felt. So–get your mammogram. If not for you, for those who love you. Living Hilo Style.