Terri Herman was feeling overwhelmed.
She was swamped with work and tempted to reschedule her mammogram.
But because her employer — the Omaha Public Power District — had arranged for workers to have an afternoon off for mammograms at Alegent Creighton University Medical Center, she went for her annual check.
It turns out that appointment saved her life.
At age 50, she was diagnosed with precancerous ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which means she had abnormal cells in the lining of a duct. Last December, she had surgery. Doctors found and removed about one-eighth of an inch of an invasive cancer. In January, she had 16 radiation treatments.
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“It scares me to think what if I hadn’t gone to my mammogram — if I had waited another year,” she said.
Mammograms are uncomfortable, not intolerable.
For many women, the thought alone of getting one is painful. But it’s an important test that saves lives.
To help reduce anxiety, Creighton University Medical Center started offering mammogram parties seven years ago.
What’s a mammogram party?
It’s a women-only event that offers a more relaxing and fun way to get an annual screening. The radiology area is closed to everyone except your group during a mammogram party and special amenities are offered like complimentary breakfast rolls, fruit and cheese trays.
First National Bank, Gallup, Mutual of Omaha, OPPD and the city of Omaha are some of the employers that participate in such events. Co-workers coordinate appointment times to attend the party together. They sit in robes, hold hands and wait for a mammography technologist to read their results after the exam.
Alegent Creighton Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs also offers mammogram parties — to Council Bluffs teachers, casino employees and Mercy Hospital employees. In fact, a group of two dozen friends schedule a party at the hospital each year.
Here’s a glance at a recent mammogram party held for OPPD employees:
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What can you do to make your mammogram easier?
1. Schedule your mammogram midway through your menstrual cycle.
For most pre-menopausal women, the least uncomfortable time for mammography is during the middle of the hormonal cycle before water weight gain adds tenderness. Scheduling breast x-rays between the second and third weeks after menstruation, if possible, is usually a good strategy.
2. Try for an early morning appointment.
Ideally, all mammograms would be performed in the morning. Women typically like to get the procedure out of the way early, rather than anticipating it all day.
3. Skip perfumes and powders on x-ray day.
Antiperspirants, talcum powders, lotions and other personal care products could lead to false negatives during mammography. It’s best to save application of these until after the x-rays.
4. Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit to the mammography facility.
Before the x-rays, you will be asked to remove all garments above the waist and to wear a hospital gown. By wearing easy separates, you will be able to keep half of your outfit intact.
Jewelry must also be removed for mammography. Many women opt to leave accessories until later.
5. Hold off on caffeinated beverages until afterwards.
Coffee, teas, colas and other caffeinated beverages may make mammography more uncomfortable for some women. Often, ladies choose to hold off on these refreshments before the procedure.
6. Let the expert do the work.
Shyness and modesty may be the greatest deterrents to mammography for many ladies. However, skilled technicians are adept at minimizing these personal discomforts. Patients who can ignore their own reticence and allow the radiology staffers to position them properly for breast x-rays often experience less discomfort and faster exams.
7. Try to relax during the mammogram.
Mammography is fast, particularly if you can simply stand still and hold your breath for the imaging. Super-tense individuals may move at the wrong moment, necessitating repeat x-rays.
Breathing deeply in advance and trying to de-stress can help considerably. Before you know it, the entire visit will be over, and you will be off on your way.
Source: Read more tips from shine.yahoo.com by clicking here.
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