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Fight like a girl

August 12, 2011 - Jodelle Greiner
I hit one of those magic birthdays this week. You know, one of those where the doctors decide they’ve got to give you a bunch of tests just to make sure you’re alive.

The day after my birthday, they scheduled me for a mammogram. I’d had one five years ago, so I knew what was going to happen. The difference is that between the first one and this one, they’d changed from using film to doing it digitally. The radiologist showed me how much more detail the digital one has and how much more clearly they can see everything.

Does this new technology mean that mammograms are any easier to go through? Let me just say there’s a reason they’re called “squish-o-grams” and that hasn’t changed. But all in all, the discomfort is minimal and it’s over in a few minutes. I think the peace of mind and having that record on file for the doctors to refer to in case anything does change is worth it.

Thank God for the late Betty Ford, who tore the sheet of secrecy off breast cancer. There’s no telling how many lives that woman saved by being upfront about her own battle with breast cancer. That openness is why we have these programs, slogans like “fight like a girl”, and fundraisers, and we hear so much about this disease and its treatment — and why we find breast cancer early and have so many women surviving it for so long.

I wish we could get that same recognition for female reproductive issues and get better testing and better treatment for gynecological problems. In the last 40 years, computers have gone from taking up an entire room and running limited technology to being held in the human hand and able to do a vast amount more than those old computers could. But yet, in that same amount of time, we have not changed how we examine or test women for reproductive cancers. It’s time to change that.


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