Thursday, October 15, 2009
National Mammography Day
October gets the honor of celebrating Columbus Day and also Halloween. While my kids would argue that Halloween is the most important day of October (and maybe even the year), I would argue against that.
Tomorrow, October 16th is National Mammography day. Who knew? I certainly didn't. I obviously know the importance of mammograms but didn't have any idea that there was a day dedicated to a test. I did a bit of poking around and found out that President Clinton first proclaimed the third Friday in October of every year as National Mammography Day back in 1993.
So when should you have a mammogram? The standard answer is once every 12 months once you turn 40. However, if you have any breast cancer history in your family you should start getting annual mammograms when you are 10 years younger than your youngest relative at the time of diagnosis. I was diagnosed at 43, my daughters will need to start getting mammograms at 33 years old.
I think to say once a year is confusing. Once a year doesn't mean you can have a mammogram in January of 2008 and then December of 2009. It means every 12 months. I had just had one in December 2007 just 5 months before my diagnosis. While there was nothing found in that mammogram, all of my doctors looked back at all of my mammogram films to see if there was anything that was missed.
I had mine in September of 2009. I have another one scheduled in March of 2010 because I need to get them every 6 months.
Have you scheduled yours? If so, congratulations. If not, walk away from the computer, pick up the phone and do it now. I'll wait.
Did you do it? Good. Early detection saves lives. Don't forget it.