I recently pushed for a baseline mammogram because I was adopted and therefore do not know my biological history. My doctor said young (in mid-30's) women have dense breast tissue making things hard to see, but agreed to let me do it anyway. My mammogram came back negative. That was last week, and a day later my friend told me about her diagnosis. She said the following, which I want to make sure everyone reads very carefully:
This was interesting - the reason why women under 40 do not get regular mammograms is because our breast tissue is too dense to get a decent picture. Had I not felt my lump, I would have never been diagnosed, my tumor can barely be seen on my mammogram. They knew where to look on the picture because prior to the mammogram they stuck a tiny piece of metal on my skin directly over where I felt the lump. If I was there for a routine mammogram it would have been read as normal. I cannot stress to you the importance of self exams, which I never did. I found my lump when I was washing my face and when I went to splash my face with water I felt a sensation like a bruise at the site of the lump. I wonder how much earlier I would have found it if I did regular self exams.
And, with breast cancer awareness month coming up, I hope everyone pays close attention and remembers to do their breast exams. My friend is currently meeting with surgeons to discuss her options, and so beyond that I don't know much. Needless to say I'm praying like crazy and wishing I was there to help her. I also realized that I haven't been as good at keeping in touch with everyone as I would like, and will try better to communicate with all my loved ones. Life with kids can be so hectic, but there should always be time for those we love. Does it really matter if our floor gets cleaned tonight? Or if the laundry is put off for another day? Not really.
Anyway, sorry if this is rambling or preachy. It certainly brings a lot of emotion to the surface when a friend shares news like this, but I know it's nothing compared to what she's going through. As helpless as I am so far away from her, if I can spread some positive messages as a result of all this, I'll feel a little happier.