Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's mammogram day again!

A few weeks ago I received the letter with time and date for the next mammogram.
I'm part of the age group that's screened every two years.

For years I had to visit a mobile clinic who was parked near the shopping centre.
The woman who worked there was more of a cartechnician than a careful radiographer.
Many women complained about her, but as she worked without supervision and without control she was kept at her place.

Two years ago I was suddenly called to the hospital for a mammogram.
First I was worried, until I arrived there and saw all the neighbourhoodwomen sitting there.
I hadn't been the only one worrying that something might be the matter, as it turned out.

When I was called in I saw a completely different machine.

No need to stand in front and have my breast pressed into a small flap of moaning crushed tissue, holding my arms away like they were unwanted elements.

No, this machine could be turned and the breast was just mildly flattened in an almost anatomical way, while my armpit was caught by the x-rays too.

The whole procedure was not as unpleasant as it had been before and the nurse was very friendly.

So I requested a note in my files to call me next time to hospital again.

Some people have asked me if I mind going.

No, I value the fact that I can be checked in such an easy way.
Breast self examination is a good way to signal any problems between two mammograms, but it would only catch a very fast growing problem.
The slow growing cancers can only be caught at a mammogram, and they would be caught in an early stage. So treatment would be minimally invasive and not such a burden as when cancer is found at later stages.

So, in a way, I'm grateful it's mammogram day again.


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