And I mean 'OUT'...yep 'the girls' and I are off to the big city lights for our annual squish, pummel and flat-iron today. And seeing as I took a 'brutal' honesty pill this week, I thought what the heck I've covered facial hair, lets go for the boobies now!So let's get serious for a moment, because it's not a joking matter and if I can convince just one of you to go get checked for the first time, then this has been worthwhile. I am 42 and I had my first mammogam last year at 41, just to give me a baseline you understand, the plan was then to get one 3-5 years later. Well hey guess what, they found a shadow, so I was referred to the wonderful specialist clinic Breast Imaging of Oklahoma. It's staffed by all female technicians, aesthetically relaxing to women in decor, and tries to get everything done there and then. Well after a digital mammo' and an ultra-sound, turned out I had a cyst, which they quickly aspirated and I was good to go. But they requested I come back a year later for my next mammogram, as I have the kind of dense boobs prone to cysts and hard to self-examine. My point though is I had no clue I had an issue before the mammogram, I also didn't know I had the kind of dense tissue that needs watching a little more regularly. All this just by going to get a baseline mammo' in my early forties. And here is my next point; in the UK women aren't even offered a mammogram on the NHS under the age of 50, unless they are in a high-risk group. That's just considered 'old' for getting a baseline here, most Dr's will recommend it around 45, but some anytime after you hit 40. The thinking behind this is to get a baseline for future comparison, before menopause and all the changes it brings starts. Makes good sense to me!
But turns out 'the girls' have had a bit of a year, well the left one anyway! First of all I had mastitis in May and no you didn't miss me dropping a baby Brit' Gal, typically I was that 'rare' non-breastfeeding case! Then 3 weeks ago I woke up and found a very tender sizeable lump, that had literally popped up overnight?! I was a little concerned and very touchy as in "touch my boob and you're dead meat hubster", but also realised Breast Cancer doesn't generally appear overnight. After a week of anti-biotics and then a lovely steroid shot in the bootie, it finally went away and has not returned, probably just infection according to my Dr. But the Dr wanted me to get not just my annual mammo' but also a specialist consultation, on why my 'left boob' is determined to hog the limelight this year?!So that's where I am off to today, pretty relaxed about it all and glad to be going to such a fantastic clinic, where I know I will get the best possible attention and care. Sure mammograms are not comfortable and this comes to you from a Gal who has alot to flatten! But I am now a total advocate of going in your 40's and getting that baseline done. If I was in the UK I would have paid to go privately by age 45, but I bet that cyst would have been an issue before then. I imagine most of us can say we know someone personally affected by Breast Cancer and these days it's got a high remission rate, so early detection is even more essential. So if you're worried it'll hurt, go immediately after your period (less painful) and grit your teeth for the minute it takes to do each. No family history, well history has to start with someone! If you're in the UK don't wait for the NHS to decide it's your time, get that baseline in your 40's. And if you just can't be bothered, well look at your loved ones faces and do it for them. And for all you men, just be grateful for that prostate exam, it could be so much worse! ;-)