Consider this Self-Care Ritual for Your Mother’s Day

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Siteman Cancer Center sponsored this post to help you celebrate many Mother's Days to come.
Happy Mother’s Day! On this oh-so-deserved day to have all of your momness adored, we have an unconventional suggestion on how you can celebrate yourself. Maybe your family will treat you to breakfast in bed, handmade cards, or flowers. But you can show yourself some love, too, by getting a mammogram.
a close up of a bouquet of pink roses with a fuchsia tag saying, "Happy Mother's Day"
Yes, you read that correctly – a mammogram.
 
Think about it. A mammogram is a huge way to shower yourself with self-love and show self-care. And isn’t that the whole point of Mother’s Day, recognition? Your appointment may not be as relaxing as a bubble bath, but adding a mammogram into your routine can give you peace of mind about your health and wellness now and in the future. Plus, setting up your appointment so it occurs around Mother’s Day may simplify getting your exam each year. Here are four things to keep in mind when considering when, where, and how to go about having the best mammography experience possible.


1.) Scheduling: Making May the new October.

 
It is amazing that breast cancer gets its own month and color. October is a pink world in the U.S. The special attention and visual cues help women remember to prioritize their breast health. But with so many women thinking the same thing at the same time, October (and November) mammography appointments get filled fast. Why not try an “off” time around Mother’s Day so you get your choice of times and dates? Approaching scheduling differently may help you check this important visit off your list sooner. Schedule your mammogram.


2.) Expertise: You can be picky with Siteman in your backyard.

 
Just like you are picky about finding a photographer to take family pictures, you need to do some research on where to get your mammogram. Not all mammograms are the same. You want to be in good hands from how your image is taken to how it is interpreted. At Siteman Cancer Center, all mammogram images are in 3D, giving radiologists the best views possible of your breasts. And these radiologists have special training. If you’re a DD or barely an A cup or if you have normal or dense breast tissue, they know what changes may need a closer look.


3.) Guidelines: A family affair means before age 40.


If you are 40 or over, it’s recommended you get a mammogram once a year. That’s pretty common knowledge. But the recommendation changes if breast cancer runs in your family. If you have a blood relative (or relatives- like an aunt, mom, dad, grandma, etc.) who have had breast cancer, you can (read: need to) start your mammograms before 40. In fact, we recommend getting a mammogram ten years earlier than the age at which your relative was diagnosed. Getting baseline imaging will help you in the long run and help doctors determine your level of lifetime risk. Plus, being proactive on when to start your mammogram sets a good example for your kiddos, too, especially if you have a daughter.


4.) Imaging: Get ready for your (very) close-up.

We all have done it: the weird pose in cold weather to be able post a stunning photo on Instagram. The end result was worth it, right? Bringing that same mindset into the exam room to help focus on the end result rather than the moment can serve you well. Once you’re in your gown and out of your bra it’s easy to lose sight of the reason you’re there: future you. Will the technologist get very handsy with your breast? Yes. Will the machine you drape your arm on be cold and awkward? Also, yes. You may even feel pressure or pinching as you hold your breath just before the image is taken. But at the end of the day, all of these are good things. They mean your 3D mammogram will be the best it can be. You may not post it on social, but it will be able to show as much of your breast tissue as possible.

a prescription on pink paper that says, Schedule Mammogram. A pink stethoscope and a pink ribbon sit nearby along with flowers.No matter when you start prioritizing your breast health with annual mammograms, there are little ways you can keep showing yourself care between appointments. These little “I love yous” can lower your risk of breast cancer and are simple, too. Sip a non-alcoholic beverage instead of a glass of wine or cocktail, find a fun way you can be in motion to boost your activity level, and more! To learn more that you can do beyond scheduling your yearly mammogram, visit Your Disease Risk™ or 8IGHTWAYS™.
 

From everyone at Siteman Cancer Center, we hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

 

 
 
 
Andrea Martin is a Content Strategist at Siteman Cancer and joined the team in 2023. Her writing connects patients with helpful information as they navigate their cancer journey. While not a mom, she is a devoted helicopter parent to her cat, Captain.
 

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