At last night's, first ever Mammogram Party at Overlake Breast Health (OBH) in Bellevue, the seven women in attendance enjoyed a glass of wine as well as shared feelings and fears about the mammogram process. Accompanied by a roar of laughter, they all agreed that the best news afterward would be a letter calling their breasts "perky."
Mammogram Coordinator for OBH Stacey Bryon explained that the center is excited to offer Mammogram Parties for groups of up to 20 women in a spa-like setting in the evenings or weekends in Bellevue and Issaquah centers. Ideally, the center needs groups of up to 10 women who are age 40 and who are getting their first mammograms.
"The idea is to offer a comfortable, warm setting where women can come with friends and family for their first mammograms," said Bryon. "This way we get a baseline and the group gets in the habit of rescheduling every year for their annual check and party."
Last night's event was comprised of several sets of friends, including three buddies from Bellevue: Gayna Suparkina, Julie Kennedy and Susan Allemand. All three recently turned 40 and were getting their first mammograms. Several other gal pals hailed from the Kent/Auburn area.
While sipping beverages and nibbling on popcorn, several women shared. One woman admitted, "I'm so anxious every time I go in I could take a valium. I think it is anxiety of the unknown."
One of the other mammogram veterans responded, "I'm not anxious because I get it done every year and I think the mammogram will catch any change, so I'm very confident."
That's the idea in a nutshell, echoed Bryon, "Breast tissue is like a fingerprint, it is individual to each person. If we have a baseline and women get mammograms every year, most breast cancer can be caught and treated."
If you are interested in learning more about how to organize a free Mammogram Party call 425-688-5985. The coordinators take care of all the details including obtaining pertinent health and insurance information.
The only criteria for participation is that each guest be at least 40 years of age and have no current symptoms (no lumps, bumps, pain, etc.). All Eastside women and beyond are invited to participate.