Sonomammogram: Not as scary as it seems

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Sonomammogram. The word sounds so intimidating. What do we do with intimidating words? We either avoid using them or try to understand them more. I got acquainted with the word a few months ago when I took a sonomammogram.

I come from a family where breast cancer is becoming quite a common scare. In addition to genetics, a lot of environmental factors like stress add up to the probably higher chances of getting breast cancer.

Striking facts to face:

Breast cancer patients are getting younger.
– Mercola

Breast cancer is the leading killer of women ages 35 to 54 worldwide. More than a million women develop breast cancer without knowing it and almost 500,000 die from it every year.

1 out of 13 Filipino women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The Philippines has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia.
– Philippine Breast Cancer Network

This is a reality I have acknowledged. The next step was to do something about it.


My Sonomammogram Experience

I had a chat with one of our HMO’s doctors and told him I wanted to have my breasts examined via a sonomammogram. He asked if I was feeling anything unusual with my breasts. I shared that I haven’t felt any lumps, but since I’m already 36 years old, I understood that a test needed to be more than just a self-exam. He also asked about my family history and I told him how cancer has been present in various ways. After our talk, he did ask me to get a screening. A few days later, I was on my way to a sonomammogram.

It was surprisingly a pleasant experience for me. A lot of it depended on the medical staff who conducted the procedure. The staff at St. Luke’s Global City’s Breast Center were very pleasant and explained every step of the way to me. I was asked to get dressed in a hospital gown. Before the ultrasound, a breast exam was performed on me. Afterwards, a microphone-like instrument (lubricated with ultrasound gel) was placed on my skin. It was used to scan the both breasts, including the armpits. I could see a picture of my breast tissue on the monitor beside my bed.

The test took 20 minutes tops. It was painless. The jitters I was having was caused more by the anxiety of the results than the procedure. A few days later, I went back for my results. Whew. Good results.

SONOMAMMOGRAM Results

I encourage you get a screening exam for early breast cancer detection. This helps find cancers before they begin to cause symptoms. Do breast self-exams regularly. Ask your doctor if you should get a breast ultrasound or mammogram.

The Filipina MD has a very good piece on breast cancer and early detection. It’s called “Breast Cancer: Knowing is Half the Battle.” She explains the differences between a mammogram and a sonomammogram. She gives tips on how to prepare for the exam as well. Read it please!

Being conscious doesn’t stop at having a clean exam. A healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude help a lot in ensuring you’ll stay in the pink of health!

9 Comments on Sonomammogram: Not as scary as it seems

  1. maqui
    April 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm (4 years ago)

    1 out of 13?!! scary!

    thanks for this reminder, toni.

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 25, 2014 at 10:25 am (4 years ago)

      Scary nga. :( You’re welcome!

      Reply
  2. Jen
    April 25, 2014 at 9:38 am (4 years ago)

    HI Toni, Cancer is quite common in our family too. Di ka nag iisa. Hehe. It was scary I admit but you had a good point why we have to check it early. as soon as I get my HMO din, I’ll have that. Pwede ba yan sa early 20s pa lang? =)

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 25, 2014 at 10:24 am (4 years ago)

      Hi Jen! Best to ask your doctor what procedure is most advisable. :) Go, go!

      Reply
  3. Faye
    April 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm (4 years ago)

    hey toni! kudos for taking that step! yes, sonomammograms are not that scary as most people think. what is scary if you don’t detect what needs to be detected early so they can be addressed early as well. Moms like us, we need to take extra care of ourselves too so we can be better at our primary roles as caregivers to our families :)

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 27, 2014 at 9:05 am (4 years ago)

      Well said, Faye! :)

      Reply
  4. Patty
    May 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for writing about this. I’m a breast cancer survivor and I can’t agree with you more that early detection is key. You’re doing the right thing by getting yourself checked regularly. God bless!

    Reply
    • Toni
      May 2, 2014 at 12:56 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks for dropping by, Patty! God bless you too!

      Reply
  5. Ruth
    October 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi,
    My sister passed away last August because of breast cancer, she was just 31 years old. Her doctor told us that we need to be checked as well especially she is too young to have cancer and we are her siblings. I can’t go and see a doctor, I am so scared of “what if”. My younger sister just visited her OB yesterday, and found out that she has a lump on both breast and she needs to do sonomammogram. (I am 27 and my younger sister is just 23) I dunno. The memory is still so fresh on my mind. I still remember how shocked are we when the result showed that our oldest sister already have a stage 4 cancer, the news kill us all. :(

    Reply

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