How To Cope While Waiting For Mammogram Results
According to the American Cancer Society, most cases of breast cancer are diagnosed through screenings, and the women generally do not have any symptoms at all. This is why getting a mammogram, from places like EVDI Medical Imaging, is so vital. After getting a routine mammogram, it can be hard waiting for the results though, but here are three things you can do to cope during this waiting period.
Understand the Statistics
The National Cancer Institute reports that 12.4% of women will develop breast cancer, but as you age the chances increase. Young women around the age of 30 have a 1 in 227 chance that they will be diagnosed with breast cancer, while women that are 60 have a 1 in 28 chance.
A mammogram is a test used to study and evaluate the mass in a woman's breasts. After getting a mammogram, there is a chance that the clinic will call and tell you that they need to complete further tests. This is very normal, especially for younger women that have never had a mammogram before.
Keep in mind though that even if a mass if found, it does not automatically mean that you have breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation reports that only 20% of masses found in the breasts are actually cancerous.
As you spend time looking at the statistics, you should also realize that breast cancer is highly treatable, especially if it is discovered at an early state.
Learn Why Early Detection Is Best
Mammograms are not recommended until a woman has reached the age of 40, but you may want to get a mammogram before this if breast cancer has affected any of your family members. According to WebMD, women under 40 have a higher risk of having aggressive forms of breast cancer, especially if it runs in a woman's family.
If your mom, aunt, grandma, or sister had breast cancer, you should start getting mammograms at the age of 30. You should realize though that you do not have a 100% chance of getting breast cancer just because it runs in your family, but taking extra precautions is a good idea so that it can be detected early.
Although there are many treatments for breast cancer, your highest chances of survival occur when the cancer is discovered early. Early detection is beneficial because:
- The mass is smaller
- It has not had time to spread
- There are more treatment options for smaller spots of cancer
Completing self-examinations of your breasts is a great way to spot problems yourself, but getting regular mammograms will help find breast cancer sooner rather than later. As you wait for your test results, try not to stress. Reassure yourself that you have done all you can, and try to wait patiently for the results.
Talk About It and Stay Busy
Even if it only takes a day or two to get the results, this period of time can seem like an eternity. To prevent yourself from worrying about it, you can:
- Talk to a close friend – talking is soothing to many people, and this may help bring you comfort while you wait.
- Stay busy – keep busy during these few days so you do not have extra time. If you have nothing to do while you wait, you will probably worry more. Worrying often leads to derogatory thoughts, and some women can even convince themselves that they are going to die from breast cancer, even though they haven't received the results yet.
While every woman has the risk of developing breast cancer, advances in medicine are continuously made. When the test results come back, you may instantly feel relief when they tell you that everything came back normal. If the test shows something suspicious, try to stay positive and remember that your chances of survival are in your favor.