Contributing Editor: Vivian Nweze

October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late for you to get checked! 

We’re challenging #TeamAC to go get a mammogram before the end of this year.

1 in 8 women in the US will get breast cancer at some point. It’s a scary statistic, but we can all be proactive about early detection. This is even more important if you’re over 40. Even the most healthy and active women can be susceptible. Our own Autumn Calabrese had her own scare…



What are mammograms exactly? They are the screening test for cancer. X-rays are used to create images of your breast, that a radiologist can use to search for any signs of cancer. Screenings are important, because they can spot irregularities before you have symptoms. They spot other things like cysts as well.  The earlier it’s discovered, the higher your chance for survival.


So what do you need to know before you go? Here are a few tips to get you prepped before the appointment:

  • You can’t wear anything in your chest area, like deodorant or lotion, because it could be an issue on the x-ray
  • The mammogram appointments take around 20 minutes
  • It’s recommended that women over 40 get annual mammograms
  • US Preventative Task Force suggest mammograms twice a year for women ages 50-74
  • During a mammogram, flat panels will  squeeze breasts for around 10-15 seconds each
  • Wear a top and a bottom, so only your top has to be removed for the exam
  • Try to set your appointment for a week after your period (if your premenopausal)
  • Biopsies are needed to next to confirm or rule out if what was seen on the mammogram really is breast cancer.


If you can’t squeeze in an appointment because of the holidays, you can set it up for early 2020. The point is to be proactive about your health right now. Let us know how it goes by tagging @AutumnCalabrese and #TeamAC!