Keeping your body maintained | Pure Beauty Photography Blog
BreastScreen Australia is the national breast cancer screening program. Every state and territory operates a BreastScreen Australia service, and invites women aged between 50 and 74 years to have a mammogram every 2 years.
Screening mammograms are used to find breast cancers early, before they can be seen or felt. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances of surviving it.
Your chances of getting breast cancer increase with age. 1 in 7 Australian women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
For a few minutes of being uncomfortable, these mammograms are offered for free, and although they widely promote this service to women aged between 50 and 74 years, the service is also offered to women aged from 40 years and over at no charge.
Like anything of value, you want to ensure you look after and maintain it to its best state. Isn't our body our most valuable possession? So why wouldn't you look after it and ensure it functions at its best?
When I discovered this service was available to women over 40 years, I jumped online and booked myself in. One reason was purely for curiosity, and another was because I wanted to ensure I was in the best possible health. I had not had any changes within my breasts, and I have always regularly self checked my breasts. Several years earlier, self checking had located a lump in my armpit (which did turn out to be nothing, but scared the life out of me at the time!)
My first mammogram showed up a few anomolies, so they spent some extra time getting images from more angles. The wait for results is usually around 14 days, when you will receive a call from BreastScreen Australia.
My call back was from a nurse from BreastScreen, who advised me that a dense mass was picked up in my right breast. She explained all possible outcomes of what this could be - ranging from thick breast tissue through to breast cancer. She was amazingly supportive and gave me so much information throughout the call, and also sent me information to my email that I could read, and call back with any questions I had. We finished the call by making a follow up appointment the following week in Bendigo for more mammograms and possibly ultrasounds.
I wasn't worried about heading in for more exploratory mammograms, I think because I was so well informed throughout. I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on it also, because I only had a few days down time before I had to be in Bendigo. (Ha Ha - down time....with a toddler!)
I arrived at BreastScreen in Bendigo, and waited for my mammogram. Again, they took extra images from many different angles on both breasts. I then headed back to the waiting room while the doctor looked over them. I was then called in to have an ultrasound on my right breast, because the dense mass could not be identified from the mammograms.
For this, I had a nurse present, and the ultrasound was done by a specialist. Whilst I was nervous, I really just needed to know what the mass was, so I could get organised and prepare for whatever was coming. Both the nurse and the Specialist were amazing, talking and explaining everything to me throughout the whole process. They finished the ultrasound on the right breast, and then did the left also to compare. Through the ultrasound, they could identify the mass is dense breast tissue. I could have told them how thick and heavy my boobs are....as a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I did! On discussions with my mum, the same thing had happened with her too - it seems that thick, heavy boobs run deep within my family!
I have just recently had my BreastScreen check up, and whilst I am waiting on my results, I am confident that no matter what they may or may not find, I'll be fully informed of all options available to me along the way, by sincere, caring, genuine staff.
And now that they have so many pictures of my breasts on file, this gives them a guide of what is my normal, and a comparison of what my tissue looked like a few years ago.
So if you're over 40, get online and book an appointment, or give BreastScreen a call on 132050. Due to COVID, non urgent appointments do take a while to be confirmed (I had been on the waitlist for 9 months for a routine check up). Most importantly, do your self checks and if you DO notice a difference, don't hesitate to see your GP and book your urgent appointment with BreastScreen Australia.
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.