October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many innovative ideas have emerged for raising awareness of this insidious disease, as well as funds for research.
The statistics supporting the need for breast cancer awareness among teens are alarming.
Girls as young as 10 years old have been diagnosed, and the numbers continue to grow.
Although the incidence of breast cancer in young women is much lower than that of older women, young women’s breast cancers are generally more aggressive, diagnosed at a later stage, and result in lower survival rates.
In fact, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women under the age of 40.
Each year, around 3000 women and 20 men in New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer (Take note “Men” and breast cancer).
Things you need to know about breast screening, but too afraid to ask.
A Mammogram is an essential thing to help prevent Breast Cancer.
Having regular mammograms will help.
It will not stop you getting the disease in the first place, but it can reduce your chance of dying from it by a third.
Mammograms are FREE in New Zealand if you are aged between 45 and 69, but even after that age if referred by a doctor, it is still free.
Q. Is The Radiation From Mammography Harmful?
A. The dose of radiation given with mammography is very low.
That’s because it only needs to go through fatty and glandular tissue in the breast and not bones.
Radiation can be harmful if it is given to young women.
From puberty until the late twenties, there is a risk that radiation could cause an abnormal growth. This is because the breasts are still growing.
However in a woman over 40, the benefits of being able to detect breast cancer at an early stage seems to outweigh the risk from radiation.
Q. What If I find Having A Mammogram Too Painful?
A. You must say something. don’t just grin and bear it.
A mammogram-radiation technologist is very highly trained and knows lots of things that can hopefully make it easier.
It does help if you are able to relax.
If you are concerned about pain, it is alright to take over-the-counter pain relief about an hour before your appointment.
Q. Does It Matter When I Have The Mammogram?
A. If you are still having periods, it pays not to have a mammogram the week before your period starts as your breasts will have more fluid and be more uncomfortable.
If you are pre-menopausal, a good time to have a mammogram is about five days after your period finishes, because the hormones needed for ovulation won’t have kicked in yet.
Q. Does Being Particularly Flat-Chested Or Very Well-Endowed Make Any Difference When It Comes To Having A Mammogram?
A. Not really, The technologist will look at the shape and size of your breasts and work out the best way to position them for compression.
Woman with larger breasts may be exposed to slightly more radiation.
In Summing It All Up
(IT DOES HURT).
While some women describe the experience as merely uncomfortable, others do find it painful – even when I had my last mammogram at age 69 it was still painful and my breasts are tiny.
But it bearable, fleeting pain. I have been having mammograms for 20 years now, no breast cancer, no after effects, so why I am telling you this, it is because it is well worth having a mammogram done, it is satisfaction of knowing you are free of breast cancer, but not always 100% free there is still a percentage that is not picked up, but it is helpful to have PEACE OF MIND.
Please comment and let me know if there are few mammograms in your part of the world.
Looking forward to commenting on all comments about this subject, very interested and I’m sure that there are many readers would like any info available also.
Happy Days Cancer Free.