- Question from momOfOne: My mom says she is too afraid to get a mammogram and won't get one. I am concerned for her. Any good suggestions to give a 16-year-old daughter who loves her a lot?
- Answers - Joan Hermann It's a tough issue, because the teenager doesn't know what's holding her mother back. Is your mom worried because there's a family history of breast cancer? Has she already felt something suspicious that she's worried about? Is she afraid the mammogram will be painful? You would need to be prepared for your mom not being able to tell you what she's worried about, and I would encourage you to talk to your dad about it, or another relative or friend that your mom is close to, and see if your mom is able to share with either your dad or another relative or a close friend what she's so worried about, because she may not be able to tell you what that's all about.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. Maybe if you offer to go with her to the mammogram and make it a nice time together, that may encourage her.
- Joan Hermann But the other thing that a teen needs to know is that you don't have to take care of your mom and you are not responsible for her decisions. As worried as you are about your mom, you can't make her do something she doesn't want to do. Probably the most you might be able to do is say, "Mom, I'm worried about you—breast cancer is very common, and it really scares me that you won't go and get the test for whatever reason. Can you think about doing this for yourself and maybe a little bit for me? I'm worried about it."
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Kids and Mom's Breast Cancer featured Joan Hermann, L.S.W. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about talking to your kids about breast cancer.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2000.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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