How I Sweat Pink, Think Pink and Act Pink

Yesterday, I underwent a second mammogram performed once again by Linda.  As I discovered last year, mammograms are nothing to fear.  Forget the horror stories of tortured ta-tas and boobs being squished.  It doesn’t hurt and for only few moments of being manhandled, you are preventing breast cancer.

Being over the age of…eh…hem…*cough*… forty, I’m the prime pink ribbon candidate.  Last year, I received my baseline mammogram (a series of four x-rays or four squishings) in order for my doctor to view the structure and composition of my breasts.  That baseline will be compared to yesterday’s mammogram and each of my future mammograms.

Linda informed me this year that even if you have no history of breast cancer in your family, you’re not out of the woods, though you’re risk is less than a woman with a family history.

According to the American Cancer Society,

“Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease.

Having one first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman’s risk. Having 2 first-degree relatives increases her risk about 3-fold.

The exact risk is not known, but women with a family history of breast cancer in a father or brother also have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Altogether, less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a family member with this disease. This means that most (over 85%) women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of this disease.

Some other risk factors include: (source komen.org)

  • being a woman
  • getting older — the older you get, the greater your
  • risk of breast cancer
  • having an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 or
  • BRCA2 breast cancer genes
  • a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • a family history of breast cancer
  • having high breast density on a mammogram
  • having a previous biopsy showing hyperplasia
  • lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
  • being exposed to large amounts of radiation at a young age
  • never having children
  • having your first child after age 35
  • high levels of blood androgrens or estrogens
  • postmenopausal hormone use (current or recent use) of estrogen or estrogen plus progestin
  • being overweight after menopause or gaining weight as an adult
  • high bone density
  • having more than one drink of alcohol per day
  • starting menopause after age 55
  • being younger than 12 at the time of your first period
  • current or recent use of birth control pills

The bottom line is if you are a woman, you are at risk. Period.

So promise me you will go get squished.  Together, we are the cure.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Denise

From start to finish, Denise is Run DMT, a Tampa Bay marathon mom on the run trying to maintain an easy pace through it all between races and raising three beautiful, brilliant children (ages 13, 9, 4). In 2007, I discovered a passion for running and I'm currently training for a seventh marathon as well as a variety of other races. In my spare time, I founded Tampa Bay Bloggers, a hyperlocal blogging network.

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12 comments

  1. Glenneth says:

    great post! i am a huge believer in mammograms. my doctor sent me for my baseline at 35. they thought they saw something and i was in there for an hour having xrays and ultrasounds. they never saw it again, but now i go every year. only takes 15 minutes and is so worth it. i have no history of cancer in our family, but i am not taking any chances.

  2. Jenna says:

    What a wonderful post!!! Thanks so much for advocating and putting the word out there about how important they are!! I had a breast reduction in college and my sorority’s philanthropy was breast cancer edu and education so the cause is very near and dear to me!!! Have a fabulous day! Spa love!

  3. Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? says:

    I love that you got a picture with your mamographer(?)…promise to get squished when I’m the right age.

  4. cooper says:

    The Mrs. has had two scares over the years…the most recent last winter… but so far we’ve been lucky. I spent a few hours in the waiting room of the local breast center (one of the best) watching women of pure courage come and go or sit and support each other. keep doing those checkups!

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