5 Ways To Show Love with Mammography
It is well known that moms tend to take charge when the family gets sick. Extra hugs, chicken soup and a fresh box of Kleenex await the sniffly little ones… and sometimes the bigger ones… (Isn’t it funny how we all regress to childhood as soon a fever hits?)
Putting others first seems to be an unwritten rule of the Mom Handbook or a side effect of the double X chromosome, so at times women’s own care can fall by the wayside. Sometimes taking a little to time to take care of themselves requires a little nudge for the do-it-all women of our lives. So, how does one nudge mom (wife, partner, sister…) toward her annual screening mammogram?
Mammograms are benign, non-invasive procedures. The compression lasts only seconds. But… the psychology of the procedure and potential results can be overwhelming to some. This is where you, as a loved one, can play a role – to help overcome and combat common fears which may be a barrier to screening.
Knowledge is key. Here are some reassuring points:
- We ask loved ones to get screenings because breast cancer is far too common (1 in 8 women! 240,000 new breast cancer cases this year!), BUT early detection saves lives!
- We asked loved ones to get screening because you can beat breast cancer! The cure rate for early stage breast cancer (the kind we want to find by screening every year) is better than 90%!
- We ask loved ones to get screenings because the large majority of mammograms (~90%) show healthy breasts!
- We can help loved ones pursue the care they have a right to (insurances are now required to cover the costs of screening mammograms)!
- We can help loved ones find the best possible mammography facilities – the American College of Radiology has location-finders (here) for accredited facilities. And with a few phone calls, you can find a clinic that gives immediate results, no wringing of hands for days (that’s how we operate -results before you leave our office).
- Last but not least, you can make it easier to face the day. Watch the kids, run the day’s errands, give her the twenty minutes it takes to go in and get screened. Bonus round: treat her to a thank you gift for taking care of herself – nothing takes the edge off a “dreaded” task like the promise of a mani-pedi to follow!
We all have our roles to play when it comes to taking care of and loving each other. If you have a family member who is putting off their annual screening mammogram, don’t hesitate to talk about it – and remember there are many ways, small and large, you can make it easier.
Image credit: Old Couple by Ian MacKenzie via Flickr Copyright Creative CommonsAttribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Originally published 7/1/14 on mammographykc.com.