I went for a routine mammagram (known in our home as the Squidgy Boob Test) earlier this week.
'We need to press the breast flat so we can see all the tissue,' explained Ms Chirpy, the radiographer. 'Tell me if it gets too uncomfortable.'
What she didn't say was 'We need to press your breast flat as a tissue,' but I didn't get cross.
It was so appallingly hot in there, as soon as I walked in I thought I must have slammed into the menopause and was in the throes of my first ever full on hot flush. It can't be pleasant working all day in those conditions. Plus I'd power walked there and had to apologise for smelling a bit gamey. Last night's garlic bread must have added to her olfactory ordeal, so I didn't like to complain.
Anyway, you park your breast on a metal plate and she presses a button which lowers another plate, gradually compressing your poor mammary. When it got to the thickness of a slice of bread, I cracked.
'Er ... that's really uncomfortable ...' I gasped. (Imagine strangled voice delivered from behind clenched teeth.)
'Sorry. Bit more,' she chirruped.
Paper-thin was when she relented, instructed me to hold my breath (was I supposed to be breathing?) and pressed another button before finally releasing me. After repeating the torture on the left side, she assured me she'd correct any imbalance now by repeating the whole process vertically.
I've always been rather fond of my breasts. Hope they forgive me ... It was for their own good ...
I don't want to put anyone off having a mammagram, so here are some positive aspects:
you get to meet and bond (albeit briefly) with other women approximately your age
it's not as bad as a smear