Last month (October) was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was timely that since I am already in my 40s, I scheduled a mammogram and breast ultrasound for screening.
My mother was previously diagnosed of a suspicious breast mass when she was still living in Saudi Arabia with my dad. She had rounds of radiotherapy and was on Tamoxifen, a hormone therapy drug used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. It was a scary time for us especially my 2 siblings and I were faraway from my mom during her whole ordeal. It was a great that our father and our youngest sibling was there to take care of her and my father’s company to take care of all the medical expenses. So happy to announce my mother is cancer-free and doing well.
I know that as I reached the age of 40, I have to be more vigilant in doing my monthly breast examination. I also scheduled for my mammogram.
Here is the Breast Cancer Prevention Guidelines by the American Cancer Society:
• Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammogram (if they wish to do so)
• Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year
• Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years
During appointment, I did the mammogram first. The technician have to change the mammogram tray because my breasts are small 😅 compared to the all the previous patients and too dense (meaning perky?😉) that she assumed I didn’t breastfed my kids. I corrected her that I breastfed all my 3 kids. She exclaimed, “Masshalah, you take care of yourself!”
Mammogram is mildly painful and uncomfortable. Followed by an ultrasound by a doctor because my breasts are too dense which will lower the sensitivity of the mammogram. The doctor noted a small well-defined lesion in my right breast that may either be a small fibroadenoma (benign breast cyst that can be excised in outpatient setting) or an intramammary lymph node. I am advised to repeat the ultrasound after 6 months.
Keep me in your prayers that everything will be alright. 🙏🏻 Don’t be scared to get yourself screened. Prevention is key.