I celebrated my birthday a little differently this year – with a screening mammogram. Happy 40th! In all seriousness, it was something I scheduled right after turning 40.
My grandma is a breast cancer survivor and I wanted to make sure I'm taking precautions to be aware of any changes in my body by getting a breast cancer screening.
It's interesting because mammograms have a worse reputation than they deserve. I was personally concerned about pain and discomfort, and I was also afraid of what the scan would find.
Getting ready for your mammogram
I have to be completely honest: the process was incredibly easy and painless. Before I got to The Christ Hospital Breast Center in Montgomery, I was advised to not wear lotions, deodorant or perfume because they could impact the results. That was easy.
I also wore pants and a shirt, so I only needed to remove my top as opposed to needing a full gown. The whole process was quick and private. I personally find putting on and taking off a sports bra more uncomfortable than the whole mammogram was. So, pretty painless!
I was told the 3D mammogram process is much easier than mammograms in the past. So, if you haven't had one in a while, it may be a different experience than you remember.
The mammogram itself lasted about 10 minutes. I stood in front of the digital X-ray machine, and it took an image of each breast from two angles. Nothing got squished into a pancake like I was envisioning. Some pressure, yes, but no pain. And over with after two deep breaths.
Getting the results
I was informed that since it was my first mammogram that it's more common to find abnormal areas like dense breast tissue in the results. If I was called in for additional tests, everything was probably okay and I should not be scared.
I'm happy to report that my mammogram showed no abnormalities, and I received my results within two hours. That was incredibly relieving.
Breast cancer impacts so many lives, which is why it's important to take your health seriously with preventative care. I have to say, being breast cancer free is a pretty great birthday gift.
You can schedule your screening mammogram online with The Christ Hospital Network at one of our seven convenient locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.