I have been going for my annual mammography and breast ultrasounds since I was around 29 years of age due to my family history and cystic breasts. It's not fun but you make it through. Some tips from my experiences with the big, bad, scary machine and my own way of making the experience bearable.
- Make sure your bladder is empty. I find that it becomes a distraction and from the squeezing of your breasts in the machine you might find yourself doing the pee pee dance. (at least for me)
- If you have any beauty marks or permanent markings on your breasts be sure the technician knows and they might mark it with a circle size band aide marker. This will help in reading the films so that its not thought to be something out of the ordinary.
- The exam room always seems be cold and the touch of the machine is cold too, so you're probably bound to have your head lights on - don't worry this doesn't effect the exam. But if you hate the cold you will be uncomfortable during the test. Think hot beaches in the Caribbean to get the cold feeling away.
- Don't be embarrassed of your breasts, big or small being exposed and free in front of the technician. They see lots of breasts and it's not a fashion show. Their only concern is getting the right picture so that the radiologist can read them accurately. Think of it as a fashion show with a secret paparazzi taking your photos but they won't be leaked to the media.
- When the technician tells you stay still and don't move, take a silent, gentle inhale and hold it, then release as the machine is released. You are pushed and pulled into crazy positions. Reminds me of the old cartoon Plastic Man.
If you are a Breast Cancer Survivor or know someone affected by this disease share HOPE to others, by sharing the wall of HOPE for the month of October to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. If you would like a name to be added to the wall email me by September 27th Franga27@aol.com
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American Cancer Society
Susan G Komen Foundation