In February my primary doctor advised me that it was time to schedule my first mammogram. Although I’m quite a few months shy of 40, he suggested an early test to be proactive. I scheduled my exam for the following week. Now, whenever I’ve asked other women about the exam the consensus is “it’s a little uncomfortable.” Now I don’t know about you, but a “little uncomfortable” to me are jeans that are too tight or a pair of spanx. Having my boob squeezed and pressed like they were trying to squeeze juice from my nipples was a bit more than “uncomfortable” but I sucked it up since this is a life-saving exam…and at the end of the day, early detection could mean the difference between life and death.
When the mammogram results came back, my doctor told me that I needed a follow-up ultrasound– they found some lymph nodes and a two-inch lump. In order to soothe my already racing mind, he calmly explained to both me and the hubby (who went in with me to both appointments for moral support) that since this was my first mammogram, there were no photographs to compare. So they were unsure what the mass was and to be cautious they would have to do an ultrasound. Dr. Acosta referred me to The Breast Care Centers. If you’re in South Florida they have four locations, the closest one to me was in South Miami. So I called in for my appointment and off I went for my ultrasound.
One important tip, if you have a follow-up ultrasound at a different office than where you had your mammogram, get a CD copy of your mammogram photos. Why? Well, it gives the new doctor an idea of what she or he is looking for. It will save you a possible second visit and you’ll receive your results sooner.
I’m happy to share with you that after my second ultrasound they told me the lump is a node. Dr. Frost advised me that it’s benign, although I will have to go back in six months just to make sure that it hasn’t changed in size.
I’m sharing this with you because I want you to understand the importance of a mammogram. Early detection of breast cancer is life saving. So, if you have been dragging your feet or skipping out on your yearly exam– rectify that. Make your doctor’s appointment and get your breasts checked. If like me, this is your first year then I hope that reading my story makes you a little less nervous. And as far as the booby squeezing, it was painful for me, but I would do it all over again to make sure I was healthy.
I did find out that there are offices, like The Breast Care Centers, that offer 3D mammograms which offer a more detailed look at your breast tissues and layers providing your doctor a more thorough view of your breasts. Next year, that’s the route I will be taking for my yearly exam.
Two important tips for breast health:
Self Check. Self Check. Self Check.
Do your yearly mammograms.
Whether it’s 2D or 3D mammograms, remember everyone’s experience is different. What is IMPORTANT and I can’t emphasize this enough my lovelies, is that you get your mammograms done. Chat with your primary doctor and/or your ob/gyn. If you turn 40 this year, you could most likely get it done prior to your actual birthday like I did. If like me, you had a rough first experience, don’t be afraid to switch up the office where you get them done. Just don’t stop doing it all together, even a painful mammogram is better than no mammogram.
Until next time my lovelies– remember to be kind and loving to yourselves,