Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Keeping abreast of things
Okay, so it’s a corny title. But after the events of yesterday I thought it was a good idea to veer away from writing for a moment and hop up on my soapbox to talk about breast self-examination (BSE) and mammograms.
I had my annual mammogram two weeks ago and normally I would have received the results within a week. But between the doctor’s son graduating from high school and the Memorial Day holiday, I got the results yesterday. And instead of the little card reading “No problems. See ya next year!” I got a phone call asking me to come in for an ultrasound. Seems they spotted what the doctor thought was just a fluid-filled cyst and they need to check it further.
I had this happen five years ago and had to wait a week to get in for the ultrasound. It was a LONG week. Luckily, they had an opening yesterday afternoon and I grabbed it.
They’d marked the old cyst on my charts and the doctor had recommended “No Action” since it was harmless and there was no reason to remove it.
This turned out to be another of the same. Whew!
Despite doing BSE, I can’t feel these things. So I depend on my annual mammogram to bring them to light.
Every one of you should be doing BSE monthly. If you can’t remember, mark it on your calendar or pick a date that’s regular – like the first day of your period or the first day of the month. Or you can Google “BSE email reminder” and get several hits for sites that will send you an email to remind you. That's what I do.
As for mammograms, different organizations have different recommendations for when and how often, but most recommend a baseline mammogram at age 40 and then repeat mammography at regular intervals for the rest of your life. Ask your physician and check with your health insurance provider to see what they recommend.
A mammogram is awkward and a bit embarrassing and depending on the sensitivity of your breast tissue, it might even be painful. But don’t let the awkwardness, embarrassment or possibility of a little bit of pain keep you from having this important test. Breast cancer is very curable when caught early and a mammogram is quite often the way that such cancers are caught early enough for successful intervention.
You can learn about breast cancer, BSE, risk factors and prevention, and a whole lot more at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation website.
I’ll hop down off this soapbox now. I had way too much excitement yesterday along with a bit of angsting and obsessing even though the results were good.
Have you performed BSE lately? If you’re old enough, have you had your mammogram? Are your mothers, sisters, best friends keeping abreast of their own health? If not, I'm giving you a nudge and you can nudge them.
P.S. Happy birthday today to my wonderful daughter-in-law who is expecting Grandbaby2Be on June 16 but found out today they're going to induce her next week.
Posted by Playground Monitor at 5/31/2006 12:05:00 AM