April is my designated month for the annoying yearly physical, and the move added the additional hurdle of having to find a new doctor. Mind you, I am not really doctor material -- in a really bad year I see one once, maybe twice (aside from the physical of course) -- and having had a family doctor (I was born in Europe so … you know … the kind that knew you from birth ….) for most of my formative years ( actually … well into my 20ies 😉) the American medical system really never grew into me. Needless to say that I changed doctors every time I changed insurance; sometimes because I did not like them or I thought them totally incompetent with a lousy bedside manner; sometimes because the change of insurance brought forth a change of doctors.
So here I am, living in a beachside town on the Florida East Coast, and I actually have a found a doctor I like and trust. From the same side of the ocean where I come from, we are made to understand each other. This one takes his time (does not look at his watch every minute to make sure he does not pass the mandatory allotted doctor/patient time. But anyway, what I am getting to is the rigmarole (you know the hustle and bustle...) that is inevitably part of that yearly ritual: the bloodletting (a/k/a comprehensive lipid and metabolic panels), the offered colonoscopy or fecal test (so gross …) and of course the famous mammogram. Which I had yesterday!
The mammogram (the X-ray imaging of your breasts designed to detect tumors and other abnormalities. Mammography can be used either for screening or for diagnostic purposes in evaluating a breast lump.₁ ) is a necessary evil we woman must submit ourselves annually, bi-annually or whenever the doc deems necessary. Mammographies save lives in detecting tumors (good and bad ones) early, hence allowing for early treatment. It is not a scary nor really painful procedure (During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. (Simply stated: your boobs get squished) Then an X-ray captures black-and-white images of your breasts that are displayed on a computer screen and examined by a doctor who looks for signs of cancer.₁) And lately, more and more women's centers use the 3-D mammogram machine (breast tomosynthesis) which is, in my humble opinion, less uncomfortable that its 2-D version.
It may be helpful to know that: women with an average risk of breast cancer should begin screening at age 40 and have a mammogram every other year. But, as usual, different professional groups differ on those recommendations. On the other hand, women with a high risk of breast cancer may benefit by starting the screenings before age 40 .... Here too, opinions are mixed. As I am not a medical professional, I suggest you check out the Mayo Clinic website for more information @ https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mammogram/about/pac-20384806 or for or European friends @ http://www.europadonna.org/.
There is a lot of information out there, and with the accessibility of the internet to almost everybody, it is important to talk to your doctor before assuming this or that. Thinking that what you do not know cannot hurt you, in the end, could and would. It is also true that there are a certain number of misdiagnoses when going over the x-rays … Medical professionals are human. They make mistakes. I always say: A second opinion will not hurt. Use your common sense. Good Luck!!
To end on a lighter note, I'd like to remember Yan Nascimbene, (my Facebook friend, I am not ashamed to admit I 'm a huge fan) an award-winning illustrator of many books for children, who has illustrated more than three hundred book covers for publishers all over the world. His editorial illustrations have appeared in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and many other publications.
His most memorable drawings stem from his profound love for the work of Italian novelist Italo Calvino. There is an excellent biography @ https://www.frazerfineart.com/artist-bio/?at=YanNascimbene. He was and remains my favorite illustrator.
Take a minute to check out his biography and look at his other artwork. You won't regret it. Yan Nascimbene passed away on February 1, 2013, in San Miguel de Allende (Mexico)
A bit of a strange column this week (mixing mammograms and illustrations), but I hope to have convinced y'all to get screened (I hope I did 'cause it is better to prevent than to have to cure) and to pass on this post to your friends and fellow women (and men -- men too can get breast cancer) I am logging off wishing you a happy and healthy week. Namaste.
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As always, I am thankful for your patronage.
Nota del autor: TODAS LAS IMÁGENES de IYan Nascimbene que se muestran en esta columna estan prestadas bajo la licencia Creative Commons para fines de instrucción únicamente. Las estamos utilizando con una licencia CC para un uso no comercial sin modificaciones cuyo único propósito es compartir el arte. Respeta y desaliento el uso indebido. Tómese un momento para visitar y suscribirse a la lista de correo en nuestro sitio web @ www.reflectionsandstuff.com y asegurese que nunca pierden ningunos mensajes. Es GRATUITO y su correo electrónico nunca se compartirá con nadie sin su consentimiento. Echale un vistazo. Disfruta del sitio. Tenga en cuenta que si desea copiar / usar cualquier material / foto de este sitio web, es posible que necesite permiso del propietario/s. Nuevamente, respete los derechos de autor por favor. Nunca olviden mencionar la fuente original.
Como siempre, estoy agradecido por su patrocinio.