by Diane on 25/03/2013

I’ve had some breast pain recently. Nothing major, and if I wasn’t so sensitive with my health I would have probably ignored it. Well, I did ignore it the first time around, but it came back, so I mentioned it to my GP when I went to see him for something different last week.

My doc suggested I’d get a mammogram and ultrasound done, just to be on the safe side. Early detection is still the best way to survive breast cancer, and even though pain is rarely a sign of cancer, it’s better to have one check too many than missing the opportunity to treat it in its early stages.

So today started off with a visit to Pacific Radiology at Bowen Hospital. The facilities are basically brand new (opened in 2011) and everything is friendly, well organised, and the equipment seems to be the latest in radiologic technology. After a short waiting time I was called in for the mammogram, which was not the most pleasant thing to get done, but since the actual pressing/pushing/pulling lasts only a couple of seconds, it’s definitely bearable.

An ultrasound of the aching breast followed. This was actually a slightly more pleasant experience than the mammogram; the guy who performed the check was super friendly and we had a nice chat while he looked deep into my breast.

Can you see a smiley face in my mammogram, too?

Can you see a smiley face in my mammogram, too?

In preparation for the mammogram I did quite a bit of research online, and I find it interesting that New Zealand offers a biannual free breast screening for women from the age of 45. In Germany the minimum age for the screening programme is 50 – I wonder if starting the check-ups five years earlier in NZ makes a difference in survival rates.

The final report from today’s checks was sent to my GP, but at the clinic I already got feedback that it was looking really good. In the afternoon my GP called to confirm that there is nothing evil lurking in my boobs. Of all the things that can kill you, breast cancer is not trying to get me at this stage – what a relief. Doesn’t explain the pain I was getting, but I’ll happily take everything that’s not cancer.

If you’re over the age of 45, please make sure you register for BreastScreen Aotearoa.

Trees March 26, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I’m so glad you have no worries with the boobies Diane – good to hear a little bit about how the mammogram system works.

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