May 17, 2007
So a new study says that women aren't being quite as good as they used to be about getting their regular mammograms. The Experts all float various theories as to why this might be, but none of them sounds too confident they know what the deal is.
There's always been some controversy over when a woman should start getting mammograms, and how often she should have them. But most researchers agree that whatever schedule you and your doctor settle on, following it is a smart thing to do.
(In fact, in yet another creepy and depressing recent report, researchers found that more than 200 chemicals, including some in stuff like shampoo and French fries, caused breast cancer in animals. One of the researchers summed it up thusly: "exposure to mammary gland carcinogens is widespread.")
Of course mammograms are no fun. Did you get that jokey email years ago explaining all the ways you could "practice" for one? Crabby couldn't find the exact list she remembered, (there's one version here) but her favorite went something like this:
"Visit your garage at 3:00 a.m. when the temperature of the concrete floor is below 32 degrees. Take off all your clothes, invite a stranger in to observe, and lay comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged tightly under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until the breast is sufficiently flattened. Turn over and repeat for the other breast."
But while mammograms aren't pleasant, they're not that awful. Crabby just had hers (digital this time, and not quite as uncomfortable) and she's a notorious slacker. She's dreading her first colonoscopy way more than a mammogram.
Is paying for it the problem? Crabby has really crappy health insurance, but it pays for most of it. She knows, though, that not everyone has the luxury of even crappy health insurance.
What do you folks think is going on? For those of you female and old enough to be getting them, do you? Do you guys get whatever mysterious male screenings you're supposed to be having? Why or why not?
(And btw, Crabby does know that the picture above is not the right machine, it's just a regular xray. She's too cheap to fork over real money for a picture of the actual equipment. She hopes you will use your imaginations).
(And one more further aside: the spell-check thinks a "colonoscopy" should actually be a "cloudscape" or a "kaleidoscope." So does Crabby!)