October is breast cancer awareness month and everyone is telling you to get a mammogram. BUT that might not be everything you need. Here's why:
Robbie Motter, one of my wonderful mentors, had a pain in her breast. Because she is large-breasted and has dense breasts, the doctor prescribed both a mammogram and an ultrasound/sonogram. A mammogram alone would NOT have found the lump because it doesn't read dense tissue very well. Only an ultra-sound or sonogram will find lumps for those of us who are well-endowed – and those tests aren’t as radiation-laden like a mammogram is. Robbie never knew that, and sent out a facebook message so that other women would know. Robbie was diagnosed was cancer. She went in for a lumpectomy and while the doctors were there, they found something else. So they removed her breast. It's been two weeks and she's doing GREAT - and that's no surprise to anyone who knows her because Robbie is an amazing woman.
But what about you? Dr. Oz did a show about this and has a couple suggestions for women with dense breasts, including digital mammography, ultrasound and breast tomosynthesis. Knowledge is power, so watch this segment from his show for a full explanation: http://bit.ly/8X0Gl6
What I do is this: I go for my mammogram and, when I get the results, I get a copy of the report from my doctor to see what it says (so I read it for myself) and I also make sure when it was read that it was compared to my previous mammogram. Then I almost always ask for a follow-up ultrasound. Some doctors seem confused about my request, but I push for it. You know, it's my health and my life - not theirs. And if they make a mistake, it's not going to be their probl
Next time you have your annual visit with your GYN, talk to her about this and, if you haven’t already done it, get a mammogram and an ultrasound. AND between now and then, don’t forget the breast self-exam!
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Founded by Annmarie Kelly, the Victorious Woman Project is a female empowerment resource containing articles, classes, books, podcasts and other tools for women over 40.