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Mammogram

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-Question: When was your last Mammogram? But if you can't remember or it's been that long, then we need to check-- and that's because Better and GE Healthymagination have teamed up for a special series called The Pledge for Better Health. One of the most important pledges that a woman can make gets a mammogram. Dr. Jan Huston is a Breast Surgeon and Member of the Medical Advisory Council Susan G. Komen for the Cure, New Jersey. There is absolutely no excuse for not getting a mammogram right? -You are absolutely right Audra. There are international studies that show getting regular mammograms definitely decreases the death rate from breast cancer. -All right, so we've got quite a few women here giving us their excuses and we'd love to know what you have to say after each one. -I love to take them on. -All right, so here is our first , take a look. -I just don't have the time, I don't make the time. I guess I do have the time, but I just think, oh, it takes times you have to make appointment, go up there. It's just a busy life style and I guess part excuse-- sorry. -Well, there you have it. She says, too far, I don't have time. What do you have to say to that? -Well, today we are here in New York, so you can get sushi at 4:00 AM, I understand. -Okay. -So there is no excuse-- -Right. -But really-- anywhere at any hospital, at a freestanding radiology center mammograms are available readily. The mammogram itself only takes about 20 minutes, so that I don't have time issue. You know, it's quicker than a haircut or highlights. -Okay, exactly, okay we have another woman. Let's take a look what she has to say. -I haven't gotten a mammogram because the doctor's have been booked solid. -She says the doctor is booked, packed schedule, what do you say to that? -That can happen, you can call a center and they might not be available for three months. It's not horrible if you have to wait three months as long as you don't have a problem. Obviously, if you have a breast mass or some kind of concerns, see your private medical doctor and have them get you in sooner, but the answer to that again is schedule your mammogram when you leave from last year to be on the docket. -Okay. All right, another woman with yet another excuse. -Frankly I'm afraid, I don't really want to know, I am afraid of knowing and so I don't want to go get a mammogram. -She says what a lot of women say, I just don't want to know the results, what do you say to that? -I say I think you really do want to know, it's kinda like having lettuce in your teeth or a run in your stocking-- -Right. -You really do want to know, granted, you know, a toothpick is not gonna fix it but most of the time mammograms turn out to be totally normal, if they require extra views usually those turn up, but ought to be totally normal. If a biopsy is required most of the time it turns out to be benign and even if a small cancer is picked up. When it's picked up on mammogram alone, it is overwhelmingly curable often with minimal treatment. -All right so here is one more. -It's just too expensive and I can't afford it. -And she says it's expensive with or without insurance it could be expensive right? -Not really. I mean, with insurance the cost should be minimal and in women who are uninsured, once again no excuse, there are Federal Programs, you contact your local health department and they will stir you to a center where you can get a free mammogram. -Okay, here is another woman let's take a look what she has to say. Female -There is no history of it in my family, so I just let it go, figured-- and well I'll get around to it, because nobody-- none of the woman in my family had it, so-- -And again a familiar thing that we hear a lot, I have no family history, so why bother going, right? -That is a very common one and as I talk to women every day I say this disease is not about them, it's about us. It's about women who are healthy; eat right, vegetarians, exercise, no family history. The overwhelming majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year have no risk factors including family history. -Thank you so much Dr. Huston and since there is no excuse for skipping a mammogram as you just heard you can always visit more.com/healthpledge and pledge to make an appointment for your next mammogram and while you are there you could also learn about other ways to make a pledge for better health courtesy of GE Healthymagination and mark your calendars too because National Women's Health Week is just around the corner, May 9th to the 15th. So if there was a perfect time to make your health pledge, now is it.