Friday, November 6, 2009

This is in response to a New York Times article
(you may have to cut and paste this link to read)

Above is the link to the New York Times Article.  Above that is a mammography machine.  I have had about eight mammograms since I have been diagnosed with breast cancer at the ripe old age of 37, 3 years before  most women are recommended to get a mammogram at 40.  Now I am not a doctor, I have no medical background except the time I spent (over a year) going to the hospital for chemo treatments, radiation, doctor visits, blood tests, echocardiograms etc all relating to my cancer treatment.  This is my opinion, not fact.  I did not consult anyone in the cancer or medical field about this blog. The NY Times article made me angry.  Since I have had cancer I have written and spoken about the necessity of breast self exams and mammograms.  Now I don't know the background of the writer of the article, don't know if she has ever had a loved one or friend diagnosed with cancer of any kind, so I don't know if she knows the mental and physical toll it takes on a person going through treatment. I can't speak for her.  I can only speak for me.  In my opinion people 30 and above should get mammograms, and even earlier if there is a history in your family of it.  Anyone can get breast cancer.

When I read the paragraph from the article "Mammograms are no fun, to put it mildly. Like many women, I have been putting up with them in hopes that, if I get cancer, they might find it early enough to save my life and maybe help me avoid extensive surgery and chemotherapy Have I been kidding myself?"

Uh ok, putting up with them?  Really?  When I had my first mammogram the tech apologized about the pain it would cause when the machine would squish my breasts.  I laughed and told her well since she didn't create the machine its not her fault.

"Mammograms are no fun: " That is what the writer of the article says. I would take a few minutes, if that, of being uncomfortable, than the all the lovely baggage that comes along with a cancer diagnosis.

Let me tell you what, Denise Grady of the New York Times, cancer isn't fun either.

Talk to your doctor.  Do your breast self exams. In my opinion, get a mammogram.

Nothing is infallible, mammograms may not detect your cancer, but then again it might.

Mel is the producer/co-host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern on

Check out my new show The Cancer Warrior available on demand now on 


  1. Good for you, Mel. This is the sort of thing that makes any of us who have actually had cancer crazy! No, mammography isn't perfect, but it's what we've got & it saves lives! - like mine, for instance.

  2. I was 38 when I was diagnosed. I agree about mammograms being recommended for younger women. Big deal; mammograms are no fun. It's a piece of cake compared to cancer. How can women even question getting them? I wish I could have before I was diagnosed. I found mine by self-breast exam, but it was Stage II by then.

  3. I have no history in my family but my OB/GYN is very pro-active about tons of things. She wanted me to get my first one at 35... I was breastfeeding still... so we waited until that was over. Again, the tech apologized ahead of time for the pain it would cause. I only had mild discomfort. Actually, easier to do than the annual GYN visit or the bi-annual visit to the dentist.

    Ok, yes, they are no fun... but to put up with it? My gosh... there are lots of other things worse than this in my life.

    GREAT post Mel... glad I ran across you from twitter-world.

  4. It is hard to deal with cancer...mammogram is painful I know.Good that you are sharing information so that so many like you may get benefit from it.
    shared decision making