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8 Common Excuses for Not Getting Your Mammogram and Why They Don’t Fly

Posted Date: October 27, 2021

Roughly 7 out of 10 women regularly get a mammogram screening, but that still leaves 30% of the population unscreened and at risk. Getting a mammogram is the single most effective way to detect breast cancer early, so why are some people not getting them when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? Women have a whole purse full of excuses as to why they don’t get this life-saving screening, so let’s take a moment to break them down:

  1. “I’ve heard that it hurts.” While it’s true that some women feel varying levels of discomfort during the mammogram process, technology has come a long way in getting images and in how it fits. Newer imaging machines come with curved paddles that better fit breasts, and 3D mammograms only require one compression, which is more comfortable for some. Other factors include timing of your exam in relation to your period, when breasts can be sensitive, and having a history of fibrocystic (painful and lumpy) breasts.
  2. “I don’t have enough time.” The average breast exam only takes about 15 minutes, and detecting breast cancer early can add years onto your life, so isn’t it worth it to make time?
  3. “I don’t have a family history of breast cancer.” According to breastcancer.org, only about 15% of breast cancer patients report having a family history of breast cancer, leaving 85% of cases without family history.
  4. “I don’t need one until I’m 50.” There is no scientific reasoning as to who and when breast cancer will strike. More than 70% women who died from breast cancer were in their 40s, and among those, 20% of those women were not getting mammograms.
  5. “I don’t have any lumps.” Cancerous lumps only make up 4% of all breast cancers, meaning most breast cancers won’t have lumps.
  6. “It’s too much radiation.” Yes, mammograms use a low dose of radiation, but you get the same amount of radiation in just a few months of daily life. The risk of a woman getting breast cancer is 1 in 8, or about 12%. The possibility of dying from cancer due to radiation poisoning received during a mammogram is 1 in 70,000. The odds are in your favor if you can detect breast cancer early.
  7. “I’m afraid of what the scan might find.” While getting a bad result from a mammogram is not something anyone wants to experience, it’s better to rip off that bandage and find out early, increasing your odds of survival, than to wait and find out when it’s too late. Also, imagine the satisfaction that will come from getting a clean scan.
  8. “I can’t afford it.” Don’t let financial concerns put your life at risk. There are discount certificates available at wearememorial.com/breast, or you can contact the Memorial Hospital Foundation to inquire about the Breast Imaging Fund available to help those in need.


As you can see, there’s no excuse to bypass getting a mammogram. Prevention takes action, so make your mammogram appointment today. Learn more at wearememorial.com/breast.