Wellbeing

What does a mammogram really feel like?

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Mammogram day…one of my least favourite for so many reasons.

My own Mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the age of 42, this is the age I will turn on my next birthday. We lost her not long after she turned 48, too young, too beautiful, too needed in so many lives.

Mammograms are not particularly fun, neither are most of the things in life that involve small sterile rooms and medical equipment. I have had quite a few over the past decade, due to my Mother being so young when she was diagnosed, and some other family history. Mostly because I have worked in Oncology for many years, and although mammogram is not perfect, it is better than doing nothing at all.

So basically it is over in less than ten minutes. They need 4 images, two facing forward and two on the side, these images need to involve your breasts being as flat as possible. For those of us whose cups are considered full, this is uncomfortable, and I imagine it would also be on the other end of the cup scale. It is not painful, and it is quick, thankfully.

Quite frankly, there is no excuse to avoid something so important. The ten minutes that you are half naked having your breasts contorted simply does not compare to the realities of breast cancer. I spent more than five years caring for someone living with advanced breast cancer, unless you have seen what this involves, you most likely have little idea. It is traumatic, heart breaking and it never leaves you. A mammogram is none of these things.

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December 11, 2014
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