The first breast lump I found in my twenties. I asked my doctor to send me for a mammogram because the lump was hard and painful. Arriving at the UCLA imaging center in Westwood was nerve-racking. I went alone…I do everything alone, it is just who I am. The woman at the front desk immediately refused my mammogram exam. She stated I was too young to be there and that a mistake must have been made. I was adamant and did not allow her to dismiss me. Calling my doctor, insurance and using my tenacious attitude, I had my first mammogram.
Usually, women are not recommended to start getting mammograms until around age forty. Do not listen to this recommendation. Listen to your body. You body will almost always tell you when something is wrong. This first lump turned out to be a hormonal cyst. The doctors told me to not worry about it, but again, I listen to myself, not them. Getting annual mammograms since my twenties has been a fight, as I sometimes am u p against resistance and or dismissive doctors and radiologists, but I never let up. I stayed on top of this lump and made sure to always perform a self breast examination while showering, or laying on the bed every few months.
Fast forward to my late thirties, it’s 2018, and a new lump has formed. Many times I will find a lump in my underarm area from shaving irritation, which is completely normal and almost all of us get them, but this one was different. My Mother died of Metastatic Cancer in 2015, my Grandmother (her Mom) died of Lung cancer just a few years later. Again, I am taking no chances. I head to the UCLA imaging center in Palos Verdes and get a mammogram. The radiologist immediately comes out after the ultrasound (I had to have both because of the lump found) and dismisses my worries, even after I tell her about my family history, and shoos me out of the door. ‘It’s hormonal’ she says. I still feel iffy.Continue reading