This morning I went for my mammography appointment. This was my first mammogram and a long over-due one. I don't quite know how to describe the experience, but the image of a fly under a fly swatter comes to mind! :-)
The little Asian female radiologic technologist was very friendly and she made the whole experience bearable. Four x-rays were taken and on the last one, I had this expressive look on my face - tongue out, eyes crossed - which really amused the technologist. What else could I do? Something was being compressed, and anyone who says a mammogram is enjoyable, must be a masochist. But one redeeming thing about the experience is that it is quick, not drawn out. Twenty minutes and I was out of there, and that included the waiting time.
I just hope that when the results are out, it won't be news that I do not want to hear. This method of breast cancer screening is not 100% accurate. Sometimes, a false-positive result is obtained. Who wants to hear a result that is not all clear even if it turns out to be false-positive? Just think of the anxiety and fear that arise while waiting for confirmation to see if the result is truly negative. Shudder.
For now, a mammogram seems to be the most reliable method for breast cancer detection. I urge all women to do self breast exam at least once a month and a mammography at least once in 4 years. Two friends of mine have died of breast cancer while in their 40s. :-( Anyone with a family history of breast cancer should take the availability of mammography seriously. Early detection and treatment increase the survival rate tremendously.