It's October. My birthday, my father's birthday, my grandaughter's birthday, and pink ribbons everywhere. Yes, the pink ribbons make us think about scheduling that mammogram. Without an annual mammogram my outcome, which was excellent, from the treatment of breast cancer may have been very different.
Many women follow through and get their mammogram done. But some of you (you know who you are) seem to hesitate. Well here are 5 good reasons you can use this year as you procrastinate your mammogram.
Reason #1: I'm A Joiner
One in eight. Yep, that's the number. It's an exclusive club that recruits new members at a phenomenal pace. In the US, there are over 3.1 million already in the club and this year there will be over 310,000 women diagnosed with new cases of breast cancer and initiated into the club. Another 2500 men will join up as well. Putting off that mammogram, or those self-checks for that matter could get your acceptance into the club approved and you won't even know it. When breast cancer is detected early, at a localized stage, the survival rate is 98 percent.
Reason #2: I Have a Good Gene Pool
You may be blessed with good genes. We are bombarded with information on how to look good, care for our aging skin, and keep our aging bodies in shape. I believe genes play a role in how well you age. But genes aren't everything. Approximately 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations. Lack of family history can be a false sense of security. Don't be fooled.
Reason #3: I Have a Busy Life
It takes 20 minutes. Seriously.
Reason #4: I Don't Want To Know
No one likes bad news. I get it. But not knowing is worse. Women who get screened decrease their chance of dying from breast cancer by 30 percent. Despite all the controversy surrounding screening mammograms, there is universal agreement in the medical community that it saves lives. It is the single most important thing a woman can do to lessen her chances of dying from breast cancer.
Reason #5: I Don't Want To Be A Role Model
Every woman has someone in their life that looks up to them. A daughter, a co-worker, a neighbor. Encourage women in your life to get their annual mammogram by having yours. Do it for yourself and for those you love. Over 40,000 US women will lose their life to breast cancer this year. You may not think of yourself as a role model but you have someone who cares. This test may save your life.