I Insisted on a Mammogram at 36 Years Old

“I have healthy boobies. I have healthy boobies. I have healthy boobies.” This was a mantra I silently screamed to myself last Friday during a routine mammogram.

I started getting mammograms at 33 years old at the insistence of my doctor because I have fibrocystic breasts. Or as I like to describe them, “boobs that are super lumpy and dense that hurt like a mofo and become incredibly hard during changes in my menstrual cycle.” It’s totally as fun as it sounds.

With these moody bewbs comes the nearly impossible task of performing effective self breast exams. If I feel around my lovely lady lumps, I’ll feel a whole bunch of scary stuff that I’ll self-diagnose as the unthinkable, turn to Dr. Internet for advice, and start planning my own funeral. Again, totally as fun as it sounds.

To say I’m afraid of my breasts would be an understatement. I’ve lived in fear of these lumpy time bombs since I was old enough to know the signs of breast cancer. As such, I made the personal decision to channel my fear into a proactive stance on breast cancer detection. Hey, it’s better than denial.

When I recently switched healthcare providers and requested a mammogram at 36 years old, I was promptly denied by my insurance company because I was under 40…[read more]

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