If you're a woman who is age 45 or over, I hope that you're having routine mammograms.
Taking an afternoon or morning away from work to ensure your health, is one of the most important career decisions you can make.
And, I recommend asking the women in your life who are over age 45 when they last had a mammogram, and encouraging them to make an appointment if they're overdue.
Did you know that about 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime? And, about 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women ages 45 - 54 have an annual mammogram. However, women with a family history of breast cancer should start earlier, and should also consider an MRI based on discussions with their doctor and family members. You can read more about mammogram and MRI recommendations here.
I'm living proof that an early breast cancer diagnosis can protect your healthy lifestyle - including a fulfilling career.
Just over four years ago I went to Washington Radiology for my annual mammogram. I had been going to their office for several years and a very observant doctor noticed that the new images looked unusual compared to previous results. This led to more testing and to an early diagnosis. Because my breast cancer was detected in the early stages, I was able to opt for treatment that resulted in 1% chance of recurrence. (In case you're wondering...I just made a long story very short!)
Bottom line...don't put off your mammogram because you think it might be uncomfortable, you don't want to miss work, or you're not sure about how your insurance works. A few moments of discomfort are well worth it, taking time away from work is definitely worth it, and you can get insurance answers through a phone call or website search.