30 May 2008

friday, and a little bit about breasts

to do list


what we did


Yes, that is my second child sitting on top of the table.

And "bra" is the last item on the list. This week, my clinic's monthly medical talk was on mammography. The speaker showed a slide of the effectiveness of mammograms in dense breast tissue. The current debate is whether we should or shouldn't recommend yearly screening before age 50. His point was that comparing the 10 years before 50, to the 20 plus years after does not give an accurate picture of the gradual increase in effectiveness of mammography- and decrease in breast density. He advocates screening annually starting at 40, as does the American Cancer Society. For a low risk woman, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend getting a mammogram every 1 to 2 years between 40 and 50 and starting annually at 50.

His talk was clear and persuasive, but when he showed the slide of 5-year increments of declining tissue density, all I could see was my unavoidable future of sagging breasts. Cancer? Maybe yes, maybe no. Sagging? Guaranteed! An informal survey after the lecture showed 99% of women in the audience had the same thought. I can eat my antioxidants, wear a seat belt, and get my mammograms, but my future health is largely out of my hands. And I can't prevent gravity and time teaming up against me. So I'll get a new bra with a stronger foundation.

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Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Kim, just loved this post. I'm 46 and have tried to make sense of this whole issue of mammagrams but decided that I'm not going to worry at this stage. But, the advice about the new bra is one I'm going to follow! After feeding 2 kids who are now 18 & 20, my saggy boobs are a badge of honour!

Jamie said...

Since I was virtually breastless before my son, and since I swelled to a D when nursing my son, you can imagine what happened when I stopped nursing. A friendlier term is I use is "mom boobs" but one of my friends refers to hers as "National Geographic Boobs." All in good fun because we are thankful for our "badges of honour" (love that, sarah!)
BUT, If I could find a comfortable bra that I actually fit in (i.e. fill up) while providing a rounded lift I would be in heaven. For now, it is sports bras 24x7.