Protect second base, and get yourself checked!
14 Feb 2012
From the time I started blogging, I always told myself that I would not sit down and write anything until I had something awesome to say. I was not going to blog just for the sake of having a weekly or daily blog post. I want there to be a variety of content in my blog, something that will bring value to it’s readers.
I have learned a lot from watching my wife Wendy blog for so long.
But this post was tough to write.
We both have a history of cancer in our families. In my family, it is prostate cancer. In Wendy’s family, it is breast cancer.
At 61 year’s of age, Wendy’s Grandma (on her mother’s side) was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump on her breast shortly after menopause. She had a mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy, once a month for a year. Because they didn’t have to take out any lymph nodes, her recover was faster than usual. She was going for mammograms every year, and when she was 84, her doctor said to her at an exam, “I don’t know why we are putting you through this. If we don’t find anything this time, we won’t do any more.” At this exam, they found a lump. Grandma made the decision to have a second mastectomy.
Because a custom prosthetic is expensive, Grandma opted for a standard size one that was closest to her size. She joked that her breasts would be the same size again.
Like an x-ray, mammograms use doses of ionizing radiation to create images. A Radiologists would then analyze the image for any abnormal findings.
A Mammogram has a false-negative (missed cancer) rate of at least 10%. This is partly due to dense tissues obscuring the cancer, and the fact that the appearance of cancer on a mammogram has a large overlap with the appearance of normal tissues. Also, women with dense breasts are 5 to 6 times more likely to develop breast cancer.
Now there is an alternate way to have a breast exam done, that is far less intrusive.
Based in Toronto, VIP Breast Imaging provides diagnosis and screening for breast cancer using the latest, state-of-the-art 3D ultrasound systems. They specialize in Automated Breast UltraSound, or ABUS. This method is safe, radiation-free, non-invasive and painless. Services are provided in an outpatient environment, and no referral is necessary.
ABUS is available to all Canadian women, regardless of age or medical history, as a screening tool to save lives through early detection.
Recently, my friend Dee Brun, also known as the CocktailDeeva on “the Twitter”, visited VIP Breast Imaging for her first ABUS. Dee is an amazing woman, and is a huge advocate for the education and awareness of women’s cancer. She runs events and Twitter parties to raise funds for breast cancer research; and participates in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer. Oh… and she has dense breasts.
Here is a video of her experience:
As you can see, this method is completely painless, and is really no different than having an ultrasound done to check the health/sex of a baby … except, they are checking a little higher! With a single pass of the ABUS machine, they are able to capture 600 images of the breast tissue, approximately every 2 millimeters. This machine gives a much better scan than the traditional ultrasound.
The radiation exposure associated with a mammogram is a potential risk of screening. The risk of exposure appears to be greater in younger women. All the more reason to follow in Dee’s footsteps and have a yearly ABUS done.
The great thing about ABUS… you don’t have to get a referral, and you aren’t put on awaiting list.
VIP Breast Imaging is the only company in Canada that provides this service. You can find them at www.vipbreastimaging.com
Take control of your breast health and find out if you have dense breasts. It could save your life.