It might not be a party that seems like a lot of laughs – nor does it seem like your normal holiday party idea of choice, but it appears to be catching on. We’re talking about mammogram parties where the idea is to have a little bit of fun, and add a tone of lightheartedness to a very serious issue: breast cancer.
These types of parties are naturally aimed at women in and about the time breast cancer screening should begin, and while it may seem odd, the idea is to try and make a mammogram a fun experience, rather than one that is feared and dreaded.
So these types of parties boast a selection of food and refreshment, a massage treatment and a few laughs among their female counterparts to make the whole theory of having this breast cancer exam a little less frightening for the woman.
Experts say that with or without a history of breast cancer, all women should begin having mammograms and breast cancer screening starting at about age 40. Most women will avoid the idea of breast cancer screening because it is seen as a horrible and uncomfortable experience, and medical experts say that this happens at the peril of both the woman and her family.
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What could make these types of parties even more enjoyable is that they tend to not have the medical feel of sterility and cold hands associated with a stark white doctors office. But not only this, Mammogram parties are normally not run by a doctor or nurse at all. They are instead run by a trained technician, which can also allow women feel more at ease with the breast cancer screening process. But they are taken seriously, with all the standard medical equipment used still being present. Women can expect the same process, just in a far more friendly and relaxed environment.
As with any new medical trend aimed at taking some of the scariness out of a procedure there is an upside and a downside.
The upside is that these types of parties allow for a stress-free relaxing way to get a mammogram done. A lot of the stress and anxiousness, not to mention dread that goes into a mammogram procedure can be avoided or eliminated completely. That and the natural topic of conversation can raise a lot of awareness on what to expect throughout the process, informing women in a more organic environment.
What most healthcare practitioners will agree on is that the event could be a slight waste of precious resources, because not every single woman out there needs to have breast cancer screening done. The only real way to know if you fall into any kind of a high risk category is to go see your doctor, and while you are there, it might just be more convenient for you to have him/her do the breast exam themselves. The American Cancer Society has recommendations in place that all women start annual mammogram and breast cancer screening beginning at 40 years old.