Mommy Minute: What to expect at your first yearly mammogram

It’s sort of an exciting week for me. I’m turning the big 4-0 on Thursday.

Although I feel great, I wanted to use the milestone as an opportunity to step back and assess my health. And now that I’m 40, I knew a part of that would be a yearly mammogram.

I set up an appointment at UPMC Pinnacle’s Community Osteophatic for a 3D mammogram. The entire process took less than 20 minutes. I wouldn’t describe it as painful; merely uncomfortable.

Dr. Raj Sahi says that discomfort is far outweighed by the benefits of catching minute or evolving breast cancer much faster than a self examination.

The 3D machine allowed doctors to capture moving images of my breast tissue.

In addition to the mammogram, Dr. Sahi also recommended a physical exam, a blood test to test for cholesterol levels and a check-up at the OB/GYN.

“You want to make sure that you’re healthy and you can do the things you used to do,” Dr. Sahi said.

I went a step further and also got tested for glucose and thyroid issues. I also set up my first eye exam in 14 years. You may have noticed: I now wear glasses.

The day after my mammogram, I received a call telling me my results showed no abnormalities. I received a follow-up letter a few days later explaining the results in more detail. I was grateful for the clean bill of health and for the technology to give me that peace of mind.

Dr. Sahi told me “forty is the new young.” Cheers to that!

–Ali Lanyon

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