Newest Review: ... only takes a couple of seconds, although it does tend to feel more than that amount of time. It can be a little embarrassing if you a... more
Come on girls - get your boobs out!
Member Name: SusanLesley
Advantages: It could save your life - what more do you want?
Disadvantages: It can be uncomfortable
Seriously I knew it was coming and intended to take advantage of the free service. Every woman in the UK between the ages of 50 and 64 is called for a free mammogram every three years and the intention is to extend this to the age of 70. I understand that between these ages breast cancer is more likely and also the breasts are easier to check in this way once a woman is post menopausal.
I will just say that every woman should check her breasts regularly for any abnormalities and, if you find anything which worries you, go to you GP at once. As with most cancers these days, if it is caught early it can be cured.
So what happens then?
Well my first mammogram was at a mobile unit but my second one was at a purpose built unit at our local hospital.
I received an appointment through the post - this was automatic, I didn't have to request it - and obviously I had the chance to change it if it was inconvenient.
When I arrived for my appointment I was checked in and invited to wait in the waiting room.
I was asked to go into a cubicle and strip to the waist - so wear a skirt or trousers rather than a dress to make it easier for you - and wear the dressing gown provided whilst I waited for my turn. The waiting room is pleasant, with comfortable seating and it is nice and warm which is nice when you are half undressed!
I was then called into the examination room. The nurse there explained what would happen and told me what to do at each stage of the proceedings.
I removed the dressing gown and had to stand against the machine which was to take the photographs of my breasts. It was then adjusted for height and my breast was placed on the x ray plate at a comfortable height. The nurse explained where she wanted me to place my arms so that the breast would be fully exposed to the x ray. This just meant putting my arm up on the top of the machine - again this was comfortable enough.
The nurse then moved the upper plate down onto the top of my breast and this is pressed into place for the purposes of taking the x ray. Now I am quite well endowed and this is uncomfortable to the point of being painful, but it only lasts for a few seconds whilst the x ray is taken. Once the breast is released the pain disappears and it is all over.
Each breast was x rayed twice from two different angles and I then had to put the dressing gown back on and wait in the waiting room until the x rays had been checked. This is only to make sure that the plates show the information clearly and no results are given at this stage.
The second time I went I was called back into the room as one of the plates hadn't taken properly and that breast had to be x rayed again. What fun!
Once the nurse is happy that the x rays are good enough you just have to get dressed and go home. That's all there is to it.
The results arrive by post within three weeks and your GP will get a copy. If there is anything untoward you will be invited for further tests although this does NOT necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. It could be any number of things and even if it is cancer, the sooner it is caught the more chance there is of complete recovery.
The level of radiation used in the testing is very low and the benefits far outweigh any risks that may be involved.
So, in conclusion, I would say if it is a free test whether it is a mammogram, a smear test or anything else GO FOR IT. Yes, the mammogram is uncomfortable but the way I see it, if it saves my life I'll put up with a few seconds discomfort.
Summary: It's free and could save your life so GO FOR IT!
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