Let me introduce myself. My name is Teresa. I am a women's health nurse . . . and a breast cancer survivor. That has been an interesting combination in both my journey through my own cancer treatment and my ongoing career as both a caregiver and survivor.
I recently came across an article on the recent research that shows how mammography screening reduces breast cancer deaths even more than most experts previously believed. I had to give a huge sigh of relief because about 18 months ago, a U.S. Preventative Service Task Force advised that regular mammogram screenings before age 50 may not be necessary. I believe their review of information found that about 2,000 women would have to be screened to prevent only one breast cancer death.
Thanks goodness for the new findings which included nearly three decades of research. It is an emotional issue for me because I was that "one death" that a mammogram prevented.
When I was 45 (with absolutely NO risk factors for breast cancer), a mammogram found a very aggressive tumor which included tumors in my lymph system. I wouldn't be alive today if I hadn't had that mammogram in my 40s.
I know statistically speaking some may question those 1,999 mammograms that were done on women in their 40s that didn't show anything. But this is wonderful! They should all celebrate that they remain healthy and cancer-free. I am thankful that I had the option of mammograms in my 40s and the ability to find my cancer, receive treatment and remain strong and healthy today.
Please take time to care for yourself, get all your recommended health screenings (including mammograms starting at age 40!) and celebrate with women everywhere that we are making strides to improve health for women.
In fact, I think I'll take my daughters out to dinner this week and celebrate life, family and fun!
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