I’m one of those that believe knowledge is power. And when it comes to cancer, it’s sort of an all-fight philosophy to me. So, when I had the opportunity to be tested for the BRCA gene a few years back, I took it. I had a slightly elevated risk, because my father’s mom died when she was 42 of breast cancer, and my dad died when he was 60 of throat cancer. So, when I had the opportunity to know if I might have a genetic tendency for cancer, I took it.
What many of you don't know about me, is that before I started POM, I spent 7 years working for the American Cancer Society in their corporate communications department. Talking about cancer day in and day out was my norm. Think about trying to “spin” cancer as a positive and not negative thought. It was quite a challenge.
And naturally, when my OB/GYN, Dr. Blake Smith, did his due diligence in asking about cancer history, he suggested I take the BRCA test. He wasn’t worried, but what I didn’t realize is the BRCA test also is a predicator for other cancers; ovarian, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, melanoma, prostrate and endometrial cancer. Thankfully, my results came back with “no clinically significant mutation identified.” That helped me sleeping a little easier and I recommend that anyone with a history of breast or ovarian cancer get that test, as well.
And now I’ve entered the age of mammograms!? Yep, my same favorite OB/GYN walked in my room this year and said “it’s time.” I wasn’t expecting that at 37. I thought 40, at least!? So, after my panic subsided, I did some quick research. My clinic, Oxford Clinic For Women offers the “Genius 3D Mammography. "What’s the difference?" you might ask - a lot.
A traditional 2D mammogram is limiting due to the overlapping tissue, which can sometimes produce unclear results, false alarms, or worse – cancer being missed. The Genius 3D Mammography has been clinically proven to produce greater accuracy for women of a variety of ages and breast densities. It can create more detailed images and angles of the layers of breast tissue. It's also worth mentioning that this Genius 3D Mammogram scan takes less time than the traditional technology. So it's definitely a win/win!
You may be asking, “why am I writing about mammograms?” Well of course, you know its breast cancer awareness month. But I want you to know about great options here in Oxford when it comes to all things OB/GYN.
When I was a college student here at Ole Miss, a routine women's exam came back with precancerous cells. My mom was 13 hours away, and the OB/GYN I was seeing at that time didn't have the bedside manner one should when delivering this news to a 21-year-old. Needless to say, I looked around for a better fit and found Oxford Clinic for Women. I've been a patient of Dr. Blake Smith for more than 12 years, and it's been a great experience.
I mean let’s cut to the chase, anything OB/GYN just isn’t the most pleasant thing to think/talk about. So, having a doctor that can cut the tension with casual conversation, or even a joke, makes me feel a whole lot better. He’s also a great listener, trustworthy and was even able to show up to (literally) catch the birth of my two kids – (He’s since learned I love a challenge).
Dr. Smith is also a believer that knowledge is power, and I so appreciate him keeping an eye out for me, even when I don’t think I’m aging. Now take this knowledge and make sure your female student is getting the care and attention she needs when it comes to women's health issues!