What’s a great present for Mother's Day? A spa treatment, dinner, flowers? Any of those are great, but consider adding a reminder for mom to get her annual mammogram. What says “I love you” more than letting her know you want her around! How could she say no? She’s more likely to get her mammogram if it’s suggested by someone who loves her, and Mother’s Day is a great reminder to make that annual appointment.
Annual mammograms save lives. They are more likely to detect breast cancer at earlier stages, when it is much more easy to treat. Getting one every year allows the radiologist to compare new films to older ones to see if something has changed.
For most women, mammograms should begin at age 40 and are performed every year. If there’s a history of breast cancer in the family, talk to your doctor to see if mammogram screening should start at a younger age.
Sometimes women are nervous about getting their annual mammogram. If that’s the case you could offer to go with mom and maybe get lunch afterward. Make a date out of it! She’ll love that, and you’ll be grateful that she’s taking care of herself.
It’s easier to get a mammogram these days. Many states offer programs to fund screening mammograms for women who do not have insurance. Check with your local or state representative to find a screening mammogram program near you.
Have a happy, healthy and safe Mother’s Day!
Courtesy of Laurie J. Kirstein, M.D., FACS, a breast surgical oncologist at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and an assistant professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.