In response to the Nurse.com story Study: Older women dont need annual mammograms (Nurse.com/Article/Mammogram-Study), I am glad that I chose not to follow the new recommended guidelines.
After my annual gynecology exam, which included a clinical breast exam by the same trusted practitioner who has performed them on me for 23 years, I struggled with whether to have an annual mammogram.
With no familial risk factors, I was pondering the new guidelines for not having a mammogram annually to justify not having one done that day.
An inner voice spoke to me, however, and said, just go.
That routine mammogram ended up being abnormal.
Further testing revealed a 2.1 centimeter tumor that was triple negative breast cancer, stage 2.
I have been through lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, eight rounds of chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation.
I shudder to think where I might be if I had waited until a biennial mammogram would have been due.
Carol Edwards Dawson, RN, BSN, MS, PNP