Note: This post is part of a compensated campaign on behalf of Hanes and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. However any personal views expressed are always 100% my own.
But let me back up and share the experience from the beginning. It all started with a phone call to National Breast Cancer Foundation [NBCF] hear the schedule and make an appointment. You can also check the schedule online. The National Mammography Program has different locations where you can go to get your screening done. Talk about being easy to fit into your schedule.
On the day of my appointment, I went to the location to check in. I confess I was REALLY nervous. But I reminded myself how important it was to do this!
"Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die."
So I took a deep breathe, checked in and took a seat to be called. Within a few minutes someone came out and walked me over to the van. Once inside I was asked to fill out some paperwork asking basic health and breast related questions. Then I handed my forms in to be checked over.
The woman checking forms noticed it was my first time getting a mammogram and took a few moments to chat and encourage me for getting it done. I suspect she knew I was nervous and wanted to reassure me. Thank goodness for those few minutes with her because next I had to go right into the room and get the mammogram done.
Just like that......
I must have stood staring at the machine for a few minutes because the technician asked me if I had any questions about the procedure. Of course I did! I asked her about 20 questions about the machine, about what she was going to do and of course how much will it hurt!
After having all my questions answered (she was amazing) I knew lots more about what to expect and a bit more about the machine and how it works. So I was ready for the next step.
***** I'm about to get semi graphic. Be warned *****
I had to remove my top and bra and put on a paper towel like top. Then I walk up to the machine and followed Georgia (my technician) instructions for different poses while she placed me breasts on the machine to be scanned. Then a part of the machine came down and sorta sandwiched my breast against another section.
While I did feel pressure, it's not painful or very uncomfortable. Each scan takes a few secs and is over before you know it. Each step of the way Georgia (my technician) checked in with me and explained what was happening.
After being scanned, I asked a few more questions and learned they ask us to do all those different positions so they can get a good scan of the breast tissue to better check for abnormalities.
After that I had to visit with the nurse practitioner who did a visual and physical breast exam. She also spoke with me about signs to look for during my personal breast exam at home (something that all women should be doing).
Signs of breast cancer that you need to alert your physician about include
- A lump
- Breast pain
- Nipple discharge
- Thickening of skin on the breast
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
Like most things we are scared of, once I faced it and went through the process I wondered why I was scared. Yes breast cancer is a scary topic but it doesn’t have to be. Getting screened and tested regularly can save our lives! Early detection is key!
"When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%*"
Now that I've had my first mammogram, I plan on taking the National Breast Cancer Foundation [NBCF] suggestion and create a "Early Detection Plan".
I also plan on being better about living a healthy lifestyle. I eat healthy and stay active but there's areas I can improve to help me reduce my factors for breast cancer and other illnesses.
I'm a firm believer in being proactive when it comes to doing positive things. I hope by sharing my Mammogram Monologues and first breast screening experience, I encourage you to be proactive with your health also. Now ladies GO GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMs!
Thanks to Hanes and National Breast Cancer Foundation [NBCF] for partnering with me to help spread awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For more information and to see posts from the Mammogram Monologues throughout the month, visit Hanes on Facebook www.facebook.com/hanes
To learn more info about NBCF National Mammography Program, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org and www.beyondtheshock.com