This is me, last month
, looking quite unflattering in a sage green gown (I never had my colors done but this is NOT one of mine!) I was waiting to get my mammogram done.
Did I want to do it? No.
Is it kinda uncomfortable? Yes.
Did I do it anyways? Yes.
👩🏻 I did it because I’m a woman. I have no family history of breast cancer. But I am a woman. And 1 in 8 women get breast cancer. That’s about 13%. In the medical world, that is a high number. We act on much smaller chances than that in many other medical “what if” scenarios. This one is an easy decision.
👩🏼🦱👦🏻👦🏼 I did it because I’m a mother. I have 3 kids that I want to see grow up. I have 3 kids that need me in their lives. I hope I never get a dreaded diagnosis. But if G-d forbid I do, at least I know that I was responsible in staying on schedule for my necessary screening tests, even during a pandemic. I also know that I gave myself the best chance of recovery due to early diagnosis. I owe that to my family.
👩🏻⚕️I did it because I’m a doctor. I’m a doctor who tells other women the importance of getting screening tests done. How can I not listen to my own advice? Is it hard? Yes. I think most screening tests are. You feel fine, there’s nothing bothering you, but you have to make an appointment, get an annoying uncomfortable test done (pap, mammo, colonoscopy, etc), all because your doctor told you to? Yup. Because the guidelines made for the recommended testing schedules are not arbitrary. They are well thought out, after collecting and observing trends on data of cancer diagnoses from an epidemiological eye. Will there always be outliers to the statistics? Of course. But we have to start somewhere.
🚒 This mammogram took me 17 minutes from the time I got out of my car to the time I got back in it. Including when I had to stop in the middle, get dressed again, due to a non-emergent fire alarm in the building.
Just do it. It could literally save your life.