Sunday, June 28, 2009



Just had my very first ever mammogram earlier this week.


And ouch!

And just when I thought the torture has ended, the radiologist adjusted the machine to a about 70 degrees tilt.

"OK, now we do this from the side angle. Right breast first, please."

Ouch again, twice more!

So what happens during a mammogram? Well, you (actually, the radiologist does it for you lah) place one breast on the machine's plate, adjust and re-adjust so that the whole breast and the supporting tissues around the armpit area is properly placed, then the whole thingy is compressed by another plate from above, until it is sufficiently flattened (or until your face has turned sufficiently red, whichever earlier). Then they snap an x-ray pic of it. Right, left. Then the whole process is repeated with your breast being compressed sideways. Yowzers!

Actually I had been thinking about doing it for the past few years, as I do fall into a category of somewhat-risk candidate. The fact that my paternal grandmother had breast-cancer doesn't add so much risk, as compared to other factors, like my age (above 35), never having breastfed a child etc, and also my eating habits *sigh*.

Why hadn't I done it earlier? Takuuutttt.....! Not afraid of the procedure, but afraid of the diagnosis! Itulah manusia, takut untuk menghadapi kenyataan, kan? Takut untuk dengar doktor kata "there's a lump/ lesion in your breast, we have to do further tests/ biopsy/ mastectomy". Aduhai!

Yes yes, I should be doing BSE (breast self-examination). I've read about it in magazines, in pamphlets, at cancer awareness events, even online, and of course by now I've memorized it. But I never got around to actually doing it, cause the instruction says to "feel for a lump", but I don't know how the heck a lump feels from the outside! Dulu my ex used to do it for me - well I was married to a doctor - and I took things for granted and never really asked him to teach me how to do it. Hmmph!

Finally, I decided to give myself a birthday mammogram, kira okay tak? Hehehe :-) It was definitely money well-spent. Just RM202.00 to put my mind at ease. AlhamduliLlah, semuanya normal. The staff at Pantai Medical where I went to, were very nice & professional, and the procedure didn't take very long.

I'm just glad that the girlies are fine, and are dense and bounced back huuhuuu! (according to the radiologist la, and by 'dense' I don't mean shtoopid ya) And hence the pain. Otherwise I might've ended up like this pic :-P

Next stop : Pap Smear & pelvic examination, arrrghhhhh!

Note : if the tissues are no longer dense due to breastfeeding, age or whatever other factor, the procedure is quite painless and easier for the radiologist to do the adjusting.