Saving the “Tatas” – Breast exam: from skeptic to true believer

About seventeen years ago, 8 months after the birth of my first child, I felt a lump in my right breast (Self Breast Exam).  I had no idea what that was about and my first thought was: “This is bad…”

Mammogram and Ultrasound machines

Mammogram and Ultrasound machines

You can imagine that that I immediately made an appointment with my doctor, had a biopsy scheduled and done, and although benign had this lump removed right away.  I was told I had fibrous/dense breasts and that there might be more instances of lump-finding from here on out.  I was in my early 20’s.

View from the Ultrasound of a breast.

View from the Ultrasound of a breast.

Fast-forward to three years ago.  I had been getting checked yearly since that incident, but they found a “lump” again on that right breast.  This one took me by surprise as I had not felt it.  Both the doctors and I were concerned.  To make sure, they took 13 impressions of that right breast and 6 of the other.  Did I mention how painful this process was!!!  Immediately, I was sent to have an ultrasound (MUCH better than a biopsy).

Long story short, this one too was benign.  Wheew!  I was out of the danger zone, but into the MONITORING zone.  Every six months, I had to schedule a mammogram to keep an eye on this crazy lump and I was worried about it growing, that radiation would have an adverse effect on me, or that eventually I would have ping-pong paddles for breasts!

No joke, people, this was serious.  I share this with you because at first, I thought it was just ludicrous to have so much follow up on something that was not growing.  Then I started doing a bit of research to find that those breast diseases are little stinkers who creep up into your life to cause MAJOR damage all the way to loss of life…

You have your breasts yearlong, right?  Some of us have been viciously attacked by breast diseases and are fighting to keep healthy.  Some of us have lost that part of our bodies.  Some of us have lost their bodies altogether as they were fighting to rid themselves of diseases started in the breasts…

I want to share with you some of the information I had gotten here, and it helped me have an effective conversation with my doctor as I knew which questions to ask and could better understand her answers.  Knowing some risk factors helped! She sent me to a Breast Specialist each time to make sure that I was not in danger.  Yes, at first, I thought this was just overkill, but as I schooled myself on the subject, I found it was decent prevention from any issues that might arise.

All done!  Now we await the results from the doctor.

All done! Now we await the results from the doctor.

I leave you with some definitions and processes from the National Cancer Institute:
“A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Diagnostic mammograms are used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of the disease has been found.

Screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74.

Potential limitations of screening mammography include false-positive results, overdiagnosis and overtreatment, false-negative results, and radiation exposure.” – National Cancer Institute

So ladies, take care of the “Tatas” and have Faith through the process!

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36 Responses to “Saving the “Tatas” – Breast exam: from skeptic to true believer”

  1. You had me LOL about ping pong paddle breast!!!!!! Thanks for sharing your experience and the information you got on the subject!!!

  2. Robin Masshole Mommy Reply April 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I need to Be better about doing self breast exams. Especially since I have a family history.

  3. I am about due for a squeeze. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Ive never had this done but my mom has and she hated it. I dont even think my breasts are big enough for the machine LOL

    • LOL! Katriza, there is no breast too big or small for this machine (I am sad to say…) I will have to agree with your mom that it is no picnic, however, once it is done – as per your doctor – it is a great feeling to be in the clear. So much is going on in our health right now that having a device to detect anything early or to prevent any issues, is a blessing. 🙂

  5. I’m so glad I came across your post. I’ll be enduring my first Mammogram next week (welcome to 40). I really had no idea what to expect and now I’m feeling a little more confident on the hows and whys of the process. Fingers crossed for a clean x-ray! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the information. I need to get in to be checked, we have history of it on my moms side and she keeps telling me to do it. I need to get it done.

  7. Thanks for sharing! I always need reminders to check!

  8. I need to make an appointment soon. This is my second time. It hurts so badly when you have small breast but prevention always helps.

    • It sure isn’t pleasant Jessica: I small breasts are no joke in that ferocious machine. However, it is totally worth to have your mammo done to keep healthy!

  9. thanks! Maybe I just needed to read this. I always thought that six months to check my lump was “over kill”. It’s been almost a year!

  10. I need to make an appointment soon! Glad you are okay and in the clear!

  11. I never had done this before! This post definitely gives a much needed awareness to all women about breast diseases. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience and great information as well.

  12. Awesome post. thanks for sharing.

    http://www.simplysassysstyle.com

    dawn

    • Thank you Dawn! You are welcome 🙂 It’s an important subject and we have to share as much as we can to defeat breast cancer: information is one of the most powerful weapons against the disease!

  13. So many young women with breast cancer. This is such a simple test many of us put off for no good reason. Thanks for the support!

    • You are welcome Jacqueline! I have to pass this along (and thank you for sharing it too!) because there is a myth out there that there is an age for it to get done… We all have to consult with our doctors and make sure we are on the ball 🙂

  14. I’m not there yet but i love seeing women that have them done and how the technology is getting better and better.

  15. thanks for sharing this.. it reminds me to have

  16. This is so important! I have a friend, a young mother, just diagnosed! It is SO necessary for these tests to be available!

  17. So important! My mother passed away from Breast cancer when she was just 41.

  18. Such important info! I have three friends who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year and we are only in our mid thirties!

    • Oh, no! Carly, I am sorry to hear that… The good news is that they went and got checked out. The earlier we do this, the easier it is to detect issues.

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