Age 50 for First Mammogram

I find it interesting and concerning that the recommended age for first mammogram is now 50 as opposed to the 35 it was when I was 35.

At age 48, I did not even know I had breast cancer when I was diagnosed, so to say we were surprised would be an understatement.

The tumor, while pretty large, was deep inside the breast and not palpable.  Lucky for me, (thank you Lord!) I got a purple lump on my LEFT side that would not go away, and during a regular checkup with my internal medicine doctor, I brought it up, along with increasing pain in my lower back which was hampering me when performing even the simplest of household chores like dishes and laundry.  She ordered an xray of my back and a mammogram.  It was later found that I had a large tumor on the RIGHT side and a metastatic tumor in my lower back – as well as in many other places.

Even though there was no history of breast cancer in my family, I followed the guidelines at that time to have a mammogram at age 35.  Once it was over, I swore I would never ever have another one because it was so painful!  I found out many years later that the reason it was so painful was because the place I had it done at did not have a clue how to do one any other way.  Had I gone to a “specialist” for mammography, it would have been less of an ordeal.

Had I followed up and had mammograms regularly after that first one…. who knows…. maybe the cancer would have been caught before it metasticized!!

So, based on MY personal experience, I say waiting until age 50 for your first mammogram is NOT a good idea!  Had I “waited” until age 50… chances are I would never have MADE it to age 50!!  I would have been long gone and pushing up daisies by then.

2011-breast-cancer-cases

Look at the above chart from cancer.org regarding incidents of breast cancer in the under 50 age groups and tell me you don’t agree!!

To your health,
Judy Gunderson

Celebrating 6 years!

After six years of “knowingly” living with Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer, I finally realized that I am not going to die as quickly as the doctors told me I would (2-3 years), so I decided to be brave and start blogging about my experiences!

The first several posts I will be making will be going back in time to June of 2007 when I was first diagnosed.  I hope that this will not bore the heck out of my friends and family that are already aware of my saga!