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Iron Maiden's Selfie

Updated on December 30, 2014

Iron Maiden

The mammography machine is not the first step women should be taking for breast cancer prevention.

Ok, here it is. These are the facts about the mammography machine so you can make up your own mind.

As women, we go into our annual well-woman check up. The paper gown is put on, the position is assumed, the test samples are taken. But the most sensitive tissue issue comes after the physical examination by the doctor and a lump is found. Then every woman has a tough decision to make. Do we let the medical field lead us back down the typical path? Early detection is best; do you follow the typical venue which is a mammogram...or look at the latest information and try to avoid the pain?

The latest research shows that it's better to not get an annual mammogram before the age of fifty. Why? It's fairly complicated with big words thrown in like micro-calcifications, and cancerous protein-markers. But it all comes down to the risks from the radiation and potential ruptures actually raising the breast cancer rate. What are we to do? Well let's look at some data for an informed decision.

Micro-calcifications are the true stuff of cancer. They are the small clusters that show up on the x-ray image for the visual detection of cancer. The biggest problem with this double-edged sword is that they are more likely to rupture or due to repeated radiation exposure either begin or speed up the cancer development. Another problem with the mammography machine is simply that the pressure placed on the "girls" is too high. The technicians are told to flatten your breast tissue as much as possible for the clearest picture. Any woman will tell you this causes pain. Not only do you run the risk of a rupture, but also separation of tissue from the unnatural position your breast is placed in.

What options are left? There is the f-MRI which takes a good picture of breast tissue through shaking up the water in our bodies and then taking the image of the blood differentiation. Then there are the protein markers for cancer within the blood. Taking a simple blood test for the cancer markers then looking for the location of cancer seems much more plausible and a lot less painful than getting trapped and potentially damaged within the Iron Maiden for a negative biopsy that results at a fairly high percentage rate.

It's a choice every woman needs to make and information is the tool. The Iron Maiden has been a great preventative tool in the past but is now outdated as the first source for prevention. There are blood tests that can direct us to the Iron Maiden only if necessary, and avoid the torture chamber most technicians make of the mammography machine which leads us to call it the new Iron Maiden.


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