I was standing amongst a group of women the other day listening to the conversation. I am not fully sure how, but the topic of breast cancer came up. Three of the four of us standing there lost our mothers to the disease. As I looked around another woman close by recently lost a sister. It is not hard to find someone who’s life has not been affected by breast cancer, it seems in my travels it is nearly impossible.
According to recent statistics, about 1 in 8 US woman will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. As you stand in a room look around, count the woman in the room. Who will it be? With numbers like that what still astonishes me are those who do not have a sense of urgency to be checked. Women who find it to be too much of an annoyance to have the yearly mammogram done. For many of us the mammogram was useless. I used to also have yearly breast ultrasounds. If you are not fortunate enough to have a doctor who will write the scripts together you have to wait for the alarming phone call letting you know the mammo was inconclusive or even worse saw something abnormal. It is probably nothing they say but back to the radiologists for the ultrasound, very time-consuming. Most of my lumps never showed up on mammograms. Many times I heard it was probably nothing. Several of those ended up in biopsy until the day when it was the beginnings of something.
I was able to react, to take control of my situation because I was vigilant with my screenings. I hated it of course but a necessary thing. I had my first Mammogram at 22 years old and my first biopsy soon after. Mammograms, Ultrasounds surgeries and MRI’s made it clear what my future would hold. Because of screenings I was able to seek out advice, talk to experts and make the decision to have a preventative mastectomy before ever having to face any type of cancer battle, thank god!
Complain, whine, scream if you must but make your appointments and have the screening done! Somethings are just too important to wait!