Last month, Amy Robach agreed to undergo her first mammogram in front of millions of viewers, live on the air for Good Morning America’s Pink Day. To the surprise of all, the procedure detected breast cancer. In a short piece for ABC, Robach reveals she had actually been putting off the mammogram for a year, and had reluctantly agreed to do it for the show. “…While everyone who gets cancer is clearly unlucky, I got lucky by catching it early, and there are so many people to thank for making sure I did. Every producer, every person who urged me to do this, changed my trajectory.”
Sometimes, the challenge is to make the leap in deciding to get the procedure done. Many women see it as inaccessible or unnecessary. Search the web for women’s health topics and you’ll find tons of discussions among women on myths and fears surrounding the mammogram. Some of the reasons I have heard at Check Your Boobies parties included “I’m not at high risk for it because: I’m too young/ I eat right and exercise regularly/ it’s not in my family history.” Or, “I don’t want my boobies squashed”, “It’s too much radiation”, and “I can’t afford it”. Thankfully, these ladies attended a CYB party and left equipped with new knowledge, including eight risk factors for breast cancer.
Anyone who has been to a CYB party also knows how to perform a self-breast exam. Oh, you’ve never been? Why not? Fun, frank, fear- and cost-free educational parties for all! And in case you wanted to search for a free or reduced-cost mammogram, I’ve done the hard part for you. Check out this nationwide resource list I compiled last year. Sorry I keep plugging. #sorrynotsorry.
I’ve never been through a mammogram personally, but as someone who aspires to be a women’s health care provider one day, I want to help dispel the fallacies and encourage all patients to be proactive and vigilant, because you never know who might be the next Amy.