Getting a Mammogram Is Easy: Let Me Show You

4 years ago

Yeah, so, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Most people are probably already aware of breast cancer, but still, as a breast cancer survivor it is my duty to encourage you to do self exams and get a mammogram. If you haven't gotten a mammogram, do it. I'm going to walk you through how easy it is to get a mammogram.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and had a mastectomy of my left breast. I found a lump in my left breast while doing a self exam, but I have been vigilant about getting mammograms for my lone healthy breast. Throughout the years, I have listened to countless women offer up their excuses for why they haven’t gotten a mammogram.

  • “I’m busy.”

  • “That’s for old ladies.”

  • “I don’t have health coverage.”

  • “Mind your own business, lady.”

But the most common excuse I hear is, “But it hurts.”

Ladies, I am telling you right now, mammograms do not hurt. You know what hurts? Breast cancer. True story. Get a mammogram.

I got a mammogram at Kaiser in San Francisco, and just to prove to you how easy it is, I took photos.

OK, so, the most difficult part of getting a mammogram is parking in the Kaiser garage. People always slow down to a crawl once inside the garage, seeking out that special parking spot that magically washes your car and fills your gas tank. Once you park, you have to wait for the slowest elevator ever.

After I rode the slowest elevator ever, I made my way to the third floor where they do mammograms. I checked in with the nice lady behind the desk, and she gave me a form to fill out.

Look! This form has boobs on it.

Then I read my Entertainment Weekly and waited for my name to be called.

I only waited a few minutes before a nurse called my name. She ushered me into another waiting room … a special waiting room. This is the waiting room that everyone out there is waiting to get into. This waiting room has a dress code, however, and she handed me a hospital gown.

"Sonia Mansfield is wearing vintage Kaiser."

After a few minutes, a technican ushered me into the room with the mammogram machine.

Me and my mammogram machine.

Now, here’s the part where ladies start freaking out. See those two plastic surfaces by my left arm? They squish your boob in there. The tech puts your breast on the black surface and slowly lowers down the clear plastic surface above it until your melon is pretty flat. Once again, for the record, IT DOES NOT HURT. Is it uncomfortable? Well, that depends. Do you think it’s uncomfortable to be topless in front of a stranger who is taking pictures of your boob while it is flattened out by two pieces of plastic? Sure, it’s socially awkward. But is it painful? No.

I asked the tech how long the appointment takes. She said, “About seven minutes.” Seeing as how I only have one real boob, I was out of there in half that time. Win!

Speaking of win, here’s a little nudity for you.

"With a mammogram like this, I could get a job at Hooter."

Yep, that’s my boob on the screen with a little pink star on it, because I’m modest. Also, it makes me feel like a celebrity on a gossip blog.

All in all, I was in and out of there in 45 minutes, including the time I spent hunting for parking. Oh, and THE MAMMOGRAM DIDN’T HURT!

Early detection is crucial when you’re dealing with breast cancer. I am amazingly lucky that my breast cancer was caught early. Aren’t your boobs worth the 45 minutes and a little uncomfortableness? Isn’t your life worth it?

Seriously, ladies, get a mammogram. No excuses.


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