Well, It's a rite of passage of sorts, my first mammogram! I just turned 41 in January, and I figured it was time to get one. Apparently, it used to be recommended that women start getting mammograms at 40, but it has since been changed to women with no family history of Breast Cancer should start getting mammograms at 50, and have them bi-yearly.
So, I guess I jumped the gun a little, since I have no family history of breast cancer. I must have just wanted to put myself into our customers shoes, by having my breast touched and manipulated by a stranger that I just met 2 minutes ago!;)
I had heard some stories over the years about how uncomfortable and awkward it was and was not really sure what to expect, but after having 2 babies where you lose all sense of modesty (I would have shown my stitches to the janitor if he said he would have given me some pain meds!;), I figured it couldn't be that bad.
Arriving for my appointment, I waited in the breast screening waiting room adorned with beautiful breast art. Having only waited a few minutes, my name was called and a lovely screening tech named Sarah came and got me. She brought me into the screening room and immediately made me feel comfortable with her kind, gentle demeanor. The giant white machine looks a little overwhelming when you first see it, with its big squeezing plates, ready to make pancakes out of my breasts, but I could see no maple syrup in the room, so I figured I was alright!
She suggested I get undressed, since we couldn't do this with my clothes on. I agreed and undressed from the waist up. Now was the time to get up close and personal with the preverbal elephant in the room. Sarah instructed me where to place my breast on the machine, and then she adjusted the placement of it and the (literal) squeeze was on. The top plate of the machine is cranked down until my breast was as flat as she could get it, and, since I have relatively large, soft tissued breasts, it was cranked to the max. Large, squishy breasts are a plus in this situation, since there is something to squeeze down and it was not really uncomfortable at all. If you had really firm breasts or very small breasts I could see it being a little more challenging or uncomfortable. She did the same thing on the other side, and then we moved on to the sideways shots, which were a little more interesting for squishy breasts with a mind of their own! So that was it! 2 pictures of each breast. The whole appointment took less than 5 minutes and results will be back in 2 weeks. Really easy, really quick, and not at all the ordeal I was lead to believe. So, if you are 40 - 49 with a family history of breast cancer, or 50+ without a history of breast cancer, make your appointment today.
For more information about mammograms and when you should get one, check this out > What is a mammogram?