Mammography from the patient’s standpoint

I’ve been a bit remiss in my duty toward a fellow ScienceBlogger.

No doubt a few were wondering (or maybe not), why I, as the resident breast cancer expert here, didn’t point out that my fellow ScienceBlogger Janet live-blogged her very first screening mammogram last week. Truth be told, I had meant to mention it a day or two after she first posted it, but it plumb slipped my mind. Maybe it’s early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Whatever the case, I had meant to use her post to point out that, as a breast cancer surgeon, I sometimes forget just how annoying and cumbersome getting a mammogram can be. However, it’s important, especially after age 50, to undergo yearly mammography. It’s also important between ages 40-50, but the evidence for routine screening mammography saving lives in that age range is not as strong.

Actually, though, it was her followup post, in which she discussed the pros and cons of screening mammography based on the patient instructions given to her, that held the most interest for me. Note to self: It may be time to do another post about this subject again soon, using Janet’s posts as a jumping off point. And, no, I’m not going to threaten to live blog a colonoscopy, as PZ did. I still have a few years before I hit 50, anyway.