In honor of a very close friend who is a strong and beautiful breast cancer survivor (you know who you are my dear), I had my first mammogram yesterday, at the age of 36. That might be younger than you would expect someone to start getting annual mammograms, but I’m a melanoma survivor and studies have shown that melanoma can spread to the breast.
It is never too late to make your health a priority, and it’s never too early to know your body. Early detection is so critical in any form of cancer. I caught my melanoma very early, and I’m here today because of it.
I wanted to write this article because I had a lot of anxiety going into my first mammogram, mainly because of the long standing rumors and complaints about the process.
“They squeeze your boobs,”
“I don’t want to stand there naked”….the list goes on.
BUT...None of the fears that I walked in with were validated. I want to thank the amazing team at the Legacy Breast Health Center for a wonderful experience. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a spa day, but it didn’t hurt either. I recognize that I had a standard preventative mammogram, and I’m sure that there are other forms of the exam that are more intensive, but I want to encourage those of you out there who have been telling yourself, as I had been telling myself, that “I should probably just go get a mammogram.”
Go. You will never regret having a baseline screening to compare to overtime.
With melanoma, we are constantly monitoring and looking for changes in our skin. The only way for you to be sure that something truly is changing is if you have something to compare it to. Early detection can save your life as it saved mine.
Don’t wait. Get your baseline, and breathe easier.