Health, Muscle & Fitness Articles Section
Home - Fitness & Muscle | Muscle Building Articles | Cardio Articles | Fitness Equipment Articles | Weight Loss Articles | Exercise Articles |
Yoga Articles | Supplement Articles | Exercise Motivation Articles | Nutrition Articles | Acne Articles | Breast Cancer Articles | Beauty Articles |
Attraction Articles | Dating Articles | Depression Articles | Diabetes Articles | Goal Setting Articles | Hair Loss Articles | Martial Arts Articles |
Meditation Articles | Motivation Articles | Pregnancy Articles
Mammograms Are No Joke - They Can Save Lives!
There are so many jokes about mammograms! Have you heard the one about the fridge door ?or the bookends ?or the garage floor? Thanks to all the jokes, "Mammogram" has become a household word, and it's not that I don't have a sense of humor, but as a mammography technologist, I've heard the jokes many times. I think the jokes are embarrassing for women and demeaning with regard to their physical bodies. Many women say, "If men had to do this, there would be a better solution" - this may or may not be true. Most people agree that mammograms are not perfect, but until there is a better solution, I think it's time to look at mammograms in a different light.
In May of 1985 and 1986 I asked my doctor to order a mammogram for me and he refused both times saying I was too young. There were no screening mammography centers to which I could refer myself, so that was that. In December of 1986 at the age of 42 I felt a lump in my breast and had a mammogram the same day. It turned out to be Stage II breast cancer with 4 positive lymph nodes. I had a lumpectomy, a mastectomy and chemotherapy but chose not to have radiation. I obviously wasn't too young to have cancer.
In May 1985 a mammogram cost less than $60.00 and would have resulted in my having minor surgery to deal with a small lump. Delaying the diagnosis until December 1986 raised the cost of the medical care I received both in dollars and the amount of human suffering we faced. I say "we" because a diagnosis of cancer affects the family, friends and community of the person with the disease. A timely mammogram would have saved us all a lot of grief.
The common perception is that having a mammogram is a negative experience; I think this is a bad rap. Mammograms are quick and easy breast X-Rays; which usually means two views of each breast - one from the top and one from the side. They are performed by friendly, knowledgeable technologists who do their best to help women feel at ease. The technologists' goal is to get the best films possible and also to make the experience as quick and painless as possible.
When people go for a mammogram the most important thing to know is that relaxation of the upper body is the key to a positive experience. I know it's hard to relax when you're apprehensive, but this is why I believe we need to lessen the public apprehension of this test. It is easy to relax by taking some deep breaths before you have the test. By relaxing your muscles you will be much more comfortable through the test than if you are tense. An added bonus is that the films will be of higher quality, as it is easier to image the back of the breast close to the chest wall if the pectoralis muscles are relaxed. When it's done, you may hear yourself saying, "That wasn't bad at all!"
Some women are embarrassed to have a mammogram because they don't want anyone other than their partner to see and touch their breasts. The mammogram jokes add to their fear of pain and embarrassment making it harder for them to manage, and I know of some women who avoid having a mammogram for this reason. The test is done in privacy; no one but a female technologist will be present. Technologists, for the most part, are sensitive people who will do the test as quickly and professionally as they can. Many women who have resisted the test for a long time are amazed at how simple and painless it can be.
Mammograms include compression of the breast with a plastic plate to produce a high quality image with the least amount of radiation. Breast compression is meant to be tight, but it should not be painful and it only lasts for a few seconds. If you think about looking at a bunch of grapes - it's hard to see them all from one spot. If you spread the grapes out, you can see more grapes. Similarly with the use of compression, more breast tissue is visible when the breast is spread out. With a flatter, thinner layer of tissue the amount of radiation required is less than if the breast is not compressed. The amount of radiation you get is as low as can be achieved if adequate compression is used, and also if good quality control is maintained at the mammogram facility.
In the U.S.A. the cost of a mammogram runs between $50 and $150.00. There is financial help available from insurance companies, state and local programs, and from some employers. Please do not let the cost deter you from having a mammogram as the cost of not having a mammogram can be much higher both financially and emotionally. Check for information on the internet.
In most places in Canada, women can book their own appointment for a free screening mammogram; a doctor's referral is not required. In places without a screening program, mammography is available with a doctor's referral and is covered by health insurance. Approximately 7% of women will be asked to have further testing. Most of the time, follow up testing involves an additional mammogram with a different view to separate the breast tissue in a particular area to get a better image. In my analogy of the bunch of grapes, it's like having a few grapes on top of each other and separating them out in a different way in order to see them better.
There is controversy about the age bracket for women to have a mammogram. On a mammogram film, normal breast tissue in young women usually appears to be dense; normal breast tissue in older women usually turns to fat and appears less dense. Reading mammograms on young women is like looking through a tree which is full of leaves in summer. Reading mammograms on older women can be compared to looking through a tree in winter. You can see why reading mammograms on young women is more complex than reading films on older women and this is the main reason why screening mammography is more effective as women mature.
The fear of being diagnosed with breast cancer will often prevent a woman from having a mammogram. My personal experience is that it is much better to be diagnosed earlier rather than when the cancer has had chance to spread. The amount of fear, pain, embarrassment, and emotional anguish from having a mammogram does not even come close to that of being diagnosed with an advanced cancer. A mammogram takes about 10 minutes; an early cancer can be dealt with in a reasonable amount of time, while an advanced cancer is much more of a time commitment. The amount of fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis is astronomical compared to that of a screening mammogram.
It is often recommended that women have a screening mammogram every two years, but many people believe it is better to have mammograms on an annual basis. It is probably best if women can consult their doctors and make the decision on an individual basis. A number of factors affect the decision such as age, family history, general health, and previous breast problems. Between appointments, whether you choose to have a mammogram every year or every two years, it is important to be aware of any breast problems. If you notice anything unusual it is wise to contact your doctor. This applies even if your mammogram was negative because there are a certain percentage of cancers that do not show on a mammogram.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation promotes a three-prong approach to breast health:
? annual clinical breast exam by a doctor or trained health professional
Breast self-exam can be a controversial issue. Many people do not recommend monthly self-exams, yet many women have found their own breast cancers this way. The important thing to remember is if you choose to do self exam, to do it right:
? learn the proper method from a doctor or trained health professional
Following these steps will give you confidence and put you in charge of your breast health. Some health professionals are concerned that women will be unnecessarily alarmed if they find a problem with their breasts. I believe that an educated approach to breast care will reduce the fear that many women live with, and they can consult their doctors in a more rational manner. Most breast lumps are benign, but early detection of breast cancer is worth the extra cost of investigating lumps and other unusual findings.
Mammography is a peculiar test in some ways. However, it is the gold standard at present and until there is a better method of screening which is also cost effective it makes good sense to have regular mammograms. Finding cancer in the early stages before it has a chance to spread makes the treatment much easier and the cure rate much higher. Having a mammogram is not meant to be funny, or even fun; but a few minutes of discomfort rewards us with knowing we are taking action to help protect our breast health.
Lynn was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 1986 and colon and skin cancer in 1987. She has been involved in the cancer community since then as a peer counselor, support group facilitator, fundraiser and retreat organizer. She works as a mammography technologist in Guelph Ontario. Lynn is also a life coach for cancer patients to help them shorten the learning curve and navigate their journey with cancer. Please see: http://www.cancersupportcoach.com
Dumbbell Routines & Exercises eBook - Click Here
Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days Or You Get To Keep This Breakthrough eBook FREE!
"Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines To Help You Gain More Muscle, Lose Weight, or Just Get Yourself in Better Physical Shape... WITHOUT the Hassles, and Expenses of Health Clubs"
"Instant Access to An Illustrated, PDF Ebook That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get In Better Shape in 90 Days or less - Or Your Money Back!" Get the scoop here.
"Instant Access to
Downloadable Guide That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get
In Better Shape in 90 Days or Less - Or Your Money
Back! Learn More."
Serious Fitness Supplements - Muscle Builders
"A Completely Different Approach To Bodybuilding That Can Build Your Physique To Its Maximum Genetic Potential!"
A step-by-step guide that teaches you the secrets, tips, and techniques you need to know to build a chiseled, muscular, ripped, head-turning physique...FAST!
The "Hyper-Growth Muscle Mass Training" course is an extremely effective natural human growth hormone stimulator and packs on slabs of muscle mass, size and enourages hypertrophy faster than you would've ever thought possible...while burning off body fat like crazy!
Highly recommended! Click Here For Maximum Muscle Growth
Fitness-and-Muscle.com Site Navigation
Home Page | Muscle Fitness Magazine | Muscle Fitness Hers | Fitness Supplements | Muscle Supplements | Fitness Muscle Equipment | Muscle Building | Fitness Competition | Muscle Compeititon | Arm Muscles | Home Fitness Workout | Huge Muscles | Muscle Building Workout | Fitness Muscle DVDs | Fitness Accessories | Fitness Dating | Muscle Fitness Articles | Muscle Links | Contact Us
Naural Self-Defense Against Breast Cancer - Learning to Cope Successfully with Organochlorine Pollut
What are organochlorines?Organochlorines are chemicals found in some herbicides and pesticides, in chlorine bleach and most chemical disinfectants, and many plastics, especially PVC (polyvinylchloride).Organochlorines are implicated in causing and promoting breast cancer because they mutate genes and they cause breast cells to become more receptive to a cancer-promoting chemical called estradiol.
Emotional Responses to Breast Cancer - Understanding the One You Love
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a life-changing event. A torrent of feelings wash over the survivor.
Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Tips
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Men and women can take preventative steps for avoiding breast cancer and staying healthy.
Lets Start Screening For Breast Health
In the United States, American women are told to begin annual mammographic screening for breast cancer at the age of 40. Long before we've reached this age, we are advised to perform a monthly breast exam and see our doctors for a clinical breast exam (CBE) annually as well.
Mammogram and Breast Cancer Screening
Cancer screening The term screening is commonly used for a test that is used for evaluation of a person for possible disease without the person ever having any symptoms or signs of the disease. Screening tests are usually undertaken in a target population, which has significantly high risk of developing the disease.
Breast Cancer The Cure
You have my permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
The News You Dont Want To Hear: Youve Got Breast Cancer
For many people being told that they have cancer is one of the most stressful times in their lives. Just as we think we have everything under control, something comes along that can shatter even the strongest of wills.
Screening For Breast Cancer With No Compression And No Radiation
Who would have thought that a technology for detecting breast cancer used today actually had its' roots dating back to 480 B.C.
New Hope to Prevent Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Needs to Know
In March, 2005, a major nutritional breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer was announced by U.S.
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer women face second only to lung cancer, however it is the most feared cancer or disease for most women. It occurs in about 12% of women who will live to the age of 90.
Gift Giving for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Families
Did you know that each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die? One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year.
Mammograms Are No Joke - They Can Save Lives!
There are so many jokes about mammograms! Have you heard the one about the fridge door ?or the bookends ?or the garage floor? Thanks to all the jokes, "Mammogram" has become a household word, and it's not that I don't have a sense of humor, but as a mammography technologist, I've heard the jokes many times. I think the jokes are embarrassing for women and demeaning with regard to their physical bodies.
Passive Smokers Can Get Breast Cancer! Learn How?
US scientists have claimed that secondhand smokers are at higher risk of Breast Cancer. Earlier, their research also led to them to the conclusion that young women smokers are more likely to get addicted to smoking than young men.
Fourteen Simple Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer
1. Increase your consumption of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.
Finding the Spirit - Identifying the Enemy
In the daily fight for survival our vision is blurred because our health is compromised. This is when the enemy attacks- we lose focus and become vulnerable.
Breast Cancer - 101
The cancer is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably invading near by tissue and spreading to other parts of the body via blood stream or lymphatic system.Similarly, in breast cancer, a single cell begins to divide and grow abnormally.
My First Thermographic Experience
I had been a bit nervous all day wondering what my thermogram procedure would entail. Would I need to undress completely? Would I be given one of those paper gowns that opens in the front and barely covers me? Would there be any heat coming out of the camera? I had been avoiding a mammogram after reading the latest information about the risks associated with X-ray; knowing that I was potentially putting myself at greater risk by not taking charge of my health.
Are Obese Women Getting Short-Changed By Chemotherapy Treatments?
How much chemotherapy does an obese woman need? Typically an obese woman with breast cancer would receive reduced doses of chemotherapy as they battle breast cancer.Back in June of 2005, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that obese women should receive chemotherapy based on their actual weight, and not in reduced as amounts as it the standard practice.
Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging In Medical Therapy
Digital technology now makes Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging available to all. There now is a completely safe test that can aid in diagnosis, treatment and monitoring with absolutely no risk or radiation exposure.
Early Breast Cancer Detection
Most women are familiar with mammography as our "gold standard" for breast cancer screening. However, there are additional tools available that women can add to their arsenal.