Okay, it is October and we eat pink yogurt, wear pink football cleats, adorn pink ties at the office and practically see pink in our sleep. Everyone is talking about pink. The Internet is covered in pink stories.
So in 2013, especially if you are on social media and since you are reading this.... you know that breast cancer awareness is the hot topic. Got it. But what we don't get is why screening rates remain low - only about half of eligible women are getting mammograms!
We have covered fears and misconceptions in previous posts. Today we tackle the dreaded excuses. In our lives and years as radiologists we can cumulatively say we think we have heard them all. So we are going to list some common excuses for not getting screened annually. Then we are going to help you understand why we say, "Nope, that excuse won't fly!"
1. No one in my family has breast cancer. The vast majority of women (75-80 %) with breast cancer don’t have it in their family.
2. I don't have time. There ARE places to go - not just hospitals - including professional and accredited clinics that have late hours and weekend hours. (Full disclosure: we do!) And the whole procedure can have you in and out in about 20 minutes. Bada-bing.
3. I can't afford one. Nonprofits provide support services and funding, and can give you guidance on where to go for low-cost or no-cost mammograms. Many health insurances cover annual screening mammograms so call your insurer! And the new ACA guidelines include annual screening mammograms as a service covered without cost to you. Guess what? Free is affordable.
4. I don't want to know if I have breast cancer- it's a death sentence. IF you are diagnosed with breast cancer - the sooner the better. Survival stats are incredibly high for early detection. And remember, the large majority of screening mammograms will have a normal, see-you-in-12 months result!
5. I have small breasts/ large breasts - I am less likely to have cancer. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate on the basis of breast size. If you have breasts, you’re at risk.
Is your best friend’s excuse not listed here? Stay tuned for tomorrow as we take down five more...
Originally published 10/22/13 on mammographykc.com.