No I’m not asking for a donation, nor to sponsor me in a 5k or three day walk-run. I’m asking if you are a woman or know a love one who is 40 or older to have their boobs smashed each year.
This is a mammography machine it will smash your boobs but that is a good thing. Over the 16 years of my healthcare career I’ve been responsible for countless hospitals and imaging centers purchasing these painful machines #sorrynotsorry. I could tell you all about the technology, the different manufactures, the options sold with the machine, the clinical rationale to the stepping motion and the newest 3D tomosynthesis applications.
But instead I’d rather tell you that the few moments of pain are worth every second.
The technologist places your boob on the black pad (shown above) and turns the gantry a bit to the side. Then she will lower the clear plastic pad until it hurts just a bit. You will hold an arm rest on the side and she’ll ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds. Then the pad will release and your boob will be free. She will do the same thing on your other boob.
The hard part is the second scan where the technologist goes a little deeper under your arm. It hurts a bit more but you can take it, I believe in you. The purpose is to get the lymph nodes to show in the images but they are under your arm so it’s a little tougher to reach. She will smash your boob again with the armpit again, ask you to hold your breath, wait 30 seconds, then thats it. All done!
My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and she actually found it through a self-exam. They confirmed it with a mammography image and ultrasound but you can always do a self-exam between annual scans. It was found so early (stage 1) that they surgically removed her really small mass, a lymph node, and sent her for a few weeks of radiation and have all but cleared her as of today.
Breast cancer is curable, mammograms are quick and easy, go get it done and kiss your loved ones.