I went this morning to Mass General to get checked out and I got my mammogram. Well, both sides so I'm not sure if that counts for two. At any rate, there's no cancer. Or anything troubling. That's good. And even though this blog is rarely serious, it was sobering sitting in a living room filled with women, some of whom were there to get treatments for the breast cancer they currently had.
The mammogram: Brothers, if you ever have one of these, just know one thing. It hurts more than it does for women. I know you're thinking "But they have bigger breasts, most times!" And this is true. The machine squeezes your breast to get the image and that isn't comfortable. But what's downright painful is the chest hair issue. I don't have to shave my back or anything, but I have chest hair, and apparently hair is the enemy of clean images. So the tech kept moving it out of the way of the glass to perfect the image. This took a little while and she was wearing latex gloves and it felt like she was ripping them out one at a time. But it was done soon enough and I was off to see the doctor.
The consult: The resident came in to see me and told me it was probably gynocomastia, which is apparently the default diagnosis if you don't have anything but can sometimes feel things. This can be caused by a lot of things and isn't bad, unless you get a severe case and then you grow breasts like Bob in Fight Club. Rest assured my devoted audience, I'm not growing breasts. Though the pamphlet the doctor gave me is titled Gynecomastia: When Breasts form in Males, which I thought was probably the funniest title for a health pamphlet I'd ever heard of. You can read that thrilling article here. She also said it could be caused by gonadal injury and asked if in the last year I'd had severe trauma to my testicles. I had to answer no to that one also.
So feel free to e-mail if you have any questions. It turns out most of my female friends hadn't had a mammogram yet either. So I'm really a cross-gender pioneer.