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- Nurse Barb
Last night a friend of mine brought over her mammogram report and asked me what it meant and what she should do. She had been informed that her breasts were dense, but wasn’t told what it meant, what the next steps were and what she should do.
Though there’s a law on the books in many states that requires that women be notified of their breast density, often their health care providers aren’t making recommendations about what they should do next.
This bra, that I decorated myself after a trip to Michaels, helps remind me that you can’t always tell by looking what’s inside with just a mammogram. And, likewise a clinical exam or self breast exam may miss an early breast cancer.
Finding breast cancer as early as possible
As a clinician, I worry about missing an early breast cancer that could be lurking within or may be too difficult to see on a mammogram. Don’t get me wrong, mammograms are the First and Best step for breast cancer screening and yet, there are times when we must look differently and go beyond so that we find breast cancer as early as possible. (more…)
Yearly Fearly Mammograms
I have a mammogram every year because I’m at high risk for breast cancer. As many of you know my mom had breast cancer when she was 32. I was 5 at the time and remember being cared for by relatives as she recovered.
Fortunately, she recovered after having a radical Halstead mastectomy and was free from Breast cancer for the rest of her life. I’m fairly certain that I chose nursing as a profession in small part because of the glowing way she described the nurses who cared for her. Growing up with the knowledge that there were many women in my mom’s family with breast cancer, including my own mother who found a small hard lump in the shower in her early 30’s absolutely adds to my anxiety every spring when I have my annual mammogram.