Going for a Mammogram…

My mammogram appointment was for 10h30. I was slightly early, but that gave me enough time to complete all the forms. We only have a hospital plan, so I was bargaining on having to pay the +- R1000 for the mammogram, as the doctor mentioned the week before. So when the reception lady told me that the hospital plans nowadays also cover mammograms once every 2 years, I was doing a mini happy dance. While I was was sitting in the waiting room, I realised that I didn’t do my homework this time round. Which is very weird for me. I usually google and find reliable sources to figure out how things work in advance. I was so unprepared, I was even wearing a dress. If I had thought this through I would have been wearing pants and a top or something.

They called me in, and the nurse explained to me how everything was going to work. And gave me 2 gowns to put on. One over the top and one to tie around my waist like a skirt. She did point out that next time I might not want to wear a dress, then you don’t have to get completely undressed for the scans. When they do a mammogram, they take 2 scans of each breast. The first you stand against the machine with your breast resting on the table and the top part of the machine squashes you breast from the top. The second scan the machine gets tilted about 45 degrees, and again squashes your breast. Apparently that’s the part that woman are scared off and tells their friends that it hurts. In all honesty, it didn’t really hurt. Because I am only 30 years old they explained to me that the tissue is too dense and that they can’t see much on the mammogram scans. So I had to lie on the bed and do a sonar.

It’s slightly weird having a strange man examine your breast. Personally I prefer a woman, but I didn’t know that there were only men radiologists on duty on that specific day when making the appointment. So I had to make the best out of the less ideal situation. I just told myself that they do this so many times and are used to seeing far worst things than examining my breasts. He came to the same conclusion than the doctor I saw the week before. I had nothing to worry about. He explained that if I wanted to have it removed surgically, I could. And that I could see somebody to put a needle in and have some tests done on the tissue to make 100% sure that it is not malicious. But in his opinion I don’t need to. I asked if it will go away. To which he answered that it will stick around, it might shrink slightly.

All and all the personnel  was very professional and I didn’t feel that it was an awkward experience as I thought it would be. Thumbs up to SCP Radiology staff.

Remember ladies, we are supposed to do self examinations on a monthly basis.

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