“Whoever thought up the word "Mammogram"? Every time I hear it, I think I'm supposed to put my breast in an envelope and send it to someone.”- Jan King
If you are anything like me, you aren’t feeling your boobs often enough. I know I’m supposed to give myself a self-exam once a month, but the closest I usually come to that is when I push and prod them to make sure they are appearing to their best advantage in my demi-cup bra.
It is a serious matter, however, and we should all be giving ourselves self-exams (all straight men will probably be amazed we don’t mess with our breasts all that much but I guess they just don’t hold the same level of fascination for us) and women over 40 should be getting annual mammograms. Early detection is the best possible way of ensuring survival and no one thinks it will happen to them. Like all disasters, Breast Cancer is something that you think “happens to other people”... right up until the moment that it happens to you or someone you love.
I’m younger than the recommended age, but I’ve had a mammogram once. In spite of having some frame of reference, when I hear the word “Mammogram”, I picture someone in a large breast costume doing a tap dance and singing a little ditty at my front door. I assure you that the actual mammogram process is far less frightening than having a singing boob at your front door.
Go here for an FAQ about Breast Cancer, and here for instructions on giving yourself a self-exam (I think it would be much more entertaining and user-friendly if they called it “How to feel yourself up.”) There have also been attempts by anti-abortion groups to link breast cancer to abortion. If you’ve heard that and want to get more information, I recommend reading this.