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Monday Mom challenge: Schedule your mammogram!

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Breast health screening

You've put it off. You know you have. You know you should do it. It's just...uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. But if you are 40 or over, it's just once a year, and it's important.

Woman getting mammogram

Sometimes it seems we are so inundated with breast health messages that we can become almost immune. Yeah, yeah, we know, we'll do it. We know the statistics, the risks, and so on. We just don't do it.

Give in to the squeeze

Even if you've never had a mammogram, you've likely heard about them, and maybe winced when the procedure was described. Yes, the techs can squeeze and press tissue you didn't know you had. It is a big boob press, holding your breath for a few seconds as the image is taken and then - release. It's not particularly comfortable, but it's not so horrible. It's not. It is, in fact, totally doable.

When you think about it, the squeeze is worth it. This is, potentially, your life you're thinking about. A few moments of discomfort versus your life? Yeah, those few moments of discomfort are more than just "doable."

Advancements in imaging and treatment

One of the really cool thing about medicine and medical imaging is that it's always advancing. While it's not a reason to give up and stop fund raising and being an activist for a cure, cool stuff is happening! There are regular advancements in imaging for cancer screenings and advancements in therapies for those that receive a diagnosis.

What can be found and treated in breast tissue now is so much smaller than what could be found and treated twenty years ago - which many times means the cancer is far less advanced. Early and regular screening really does make a difference. Not that it won't just plain suck if you do get a diagnosis, but outlooks are better and better all the time.

Stop putting it off. Stop dreading it. It's only uncomfortable for a few moments. And it's your life. Schedule your yearly mammogram appointment!

For more on preventing breast cancer:

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